Who took the "F" out of "KFC?" That's a tune that some KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) franchise owners are singing in recent months. They claim that the missing "F" has resulted in the drop in sales.
7% Drop in Sales
According to MSNBC, "Second-quarter revenue at U.S. stores open at least a year fell 7 percent"
Marilynn Pankratz has operated KFC franchises since 1963 and presently runs 8 franchises in Florida and Louisiana. She claims that the sudden promotion of everything "grilled" has sent her numbers spiraling. Pankratz made the following comment to reporters regarding the company's new philosophy.
"They hire marketing guys with blue blazers who tell us what to do with our damn stores. But it's one thing to be behind the big mahogany desk calling the shots and another to be down here in the trenches."
KFC franchise owners have felt the heat since January 2009 when grilled chicken options were introduced, along with a promotional campaign called "Unthink KFC."
Wallace Fowler runs 60 KFC restaurants with his son Chris in Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Chris made the following claim to MSNBC reporters during a recent interview.
" 'Unthink' hurt KFC as a brand," Chris said. "We told our customers not to think of us as a fried chicken chain."
Fortunately for KFC owners, the "Unthink KFC" promo was disbanded in May of this year. Still the whole issue of "grilled" vs. "fried" is hurting business.
"Kentucky Fried Chicken hit the streets with 11 herbs and spices, pressure-cooked, and by and large the general public doesn't give a damn how many calories are in it," says Wallace Fowler.
Franchise Owners Work on Marketing Strategies
Business Week reports that franchises are now working with the corporation to design their own marketing strategies. Some franchises are suing the parent company for drops in sales due to the "Unthink KFC" and the "grilled" options promotions.
Most all of the franchises, however, want to work together to promote the 70th anniversary of KFC's "Original Recipe" chicken. The anniversary is this month. Franchises plan to advertise with promos featuring buckets of fried chicken and lots of pictures of the infamous Colonel Sanders.
Unlike their corporate bosses, the franchises will all be promoting delicious, greasy and unhealthy fried chicken. But they know it sells. And when people want fried chicken, they quite simply want fried chicken. They know it's not good for them, but every now and then "want" wins out over "need."
And that will sell fried chicken, and hopefully for KFC franchise owners help put the "F" back in their KFC logos and eventually their tills.
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