KFCs Across UK & Ireland Close After Running Out of Chicken

There was no fowl play—just some uneggspected missed deliveries.

By Ethan L. Johns
February 20, 2018

Image: Matthew Chattle/Barcroft Images/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

When fried chicken lovers showed up this weekend at KFC restaurants across the UK and Ireland for their favorite salty snack, they were devastated to find their drumstick dreams dashed.

After a systematic shipping failure that left a whole lot of raw chicken undelivered, KFC has closed over 80 percent of its 900 stores in the UK and Ireland as it attempts to restock its kitchens. Other stores in the region were left open to serve very limited menus.

In a Twitter post on Sunday, KFC apologized for the chicken shortage, explaining that its new delivery partner was attempting to iron out some kinks, and that they hoped to resolve the issue shortly.

According to Business Insider, the shortage points to a crisis occurring in the company’s supply chain. KFC switched up its shipment partner, dumping the specialist Bidvest Group in favor of the low-bid DHL. It seems that DHL, which has one distribution center in central England, is no improvement from its predecessor, which has centers sprinkled around the countries.

The supply change caused a serious uproar on the part of UK general trade union GMB, which saw 255 of its members get laid off. In a wonderfully pun-filled rebuke, GMB had its told-ya-so moment:

“We tried to warn KFC this decision would have consequences – well now the chickens are coming home to roost,” said Mick Rix, GMB National Officer in a statement.

By Monday, the fried chicken chain announced that 300 of its locations had reopened, but on Tuesday, according to the BBC, the disruption would likely last the rest of the week.

"Each day more deliveries are being made,” said the company through a spokesperson. “However, we expect the disruption to some restaurants to continue over the remainder of the week, meaning some will be closed and others operating with a reduced menu or shortened hours."

Live in the UK or Ireland and suffering from KFC withdrawal? Here’s a recipe that will help you get your seven herbs and spices in the meantime.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns