Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
They addressed it so well, right?
Two months ago, KFC’s UK arm had no wings.
No breasts and no legs either.
In fact, it had no chicken.
The problem was caused by a move to a new distributor and a certain lack of distribution to the majority of its UK restaurants.
The Yum Brands-owned chain had a fine, um, Colonel of an idea with the way it addressed the problem through PR. Especially with its three-letter FCK tweet.
So everything’s fine now, right?
As the Telegraph reports, fewer than half the KFC restaurants in the UK are now blessed with the full menu.
Yes, the chain rehired Bidvest, its former distributor — while also keeping the new ones, DHL and QSL — but there’s still a huge shortage of menu items.
The mini-fillet burger, for example.
errrrrm @kfc why the heck have you stopped serving mini fillet burgers?!!! do you know how much money i’ve spent on those gorgeous little things ?!?! genuinely can’t fathom why you would sack them off
— Loz (@Lauraa232) March 27, 2018
To which KFC replied with as much grace as it could: “Laura, we’re so sorry. We promise we haven’t removed Mini Fillets from the menu permanently, it’s just a temporary measure whilst we get things running better. Our secret mini weapon will be back soon, we promise. Keep your eyes peeled.”
The Telegraph reports that there’s also a shortage of wraps and, in some cases, rice, salad, hash browns and sweetcorn.
Yes, KFC does appear to have a lot more chicken than it did, but there’s a lesson here for those who think PR is a solution to (almost) everything.
PR can steer you positively in the public eye.
It can make your problem disappear from the media for a while.
It can even make people feel good about you again.
What it can’t do is fix the very systems upon which your business depends.
I contacted KFC in the UK to ask when the full menu might again be available again in all its restaurants. I’ll update, should a reply be delivered.
The company told the Telegraph that it was expecting something approximating 98 percent normality by the beginning of May.
So that will be three months to get something as fundamental as distribution right.
Many muttered at the time of KFC’s original switch of distributors that it was all driven by cost-saving.
Which might offer another lesson: A better price may not deliver better quality.
It’s a little like fast food, really.
The cheapest isn’t often the best.