Crisis Communications: KFC Runs Out of Chicken

A few weeks ago in England a number of KFC restaurants were forced to close because they ran out of one very important ingredient: chicken. Yum! Brands Inc., the U.S. based company that owns KFC is predicting a loss of millions of dollars due to the chicken shortage.

While the fast-food chain scrambled to figure out this supplier logistics issue, KFC’s PR team buckled down and worked to alleviate the stress of this major crisis.

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The PR team responded by taking out full-page ads in United Kingdom newspapers. The ad featured an empty KFC bucket with the letters rearranged to read: “FCK.” It continues to say, “A chicken restaurant without any chicken. It’s not ideal.”

The ad didn’t completely solve the supply issue of the one product KFC is known for, but it did respond to customer concerns quickly and honestly. The PR team used humor to acknowledge the irony of a chicken restaurant without any chicken and consumers loved it.

The ad went viral on social media and received laughter and praise from both customers and PR aficionados.

The KFC PR team is certainly staying busy. As soon as they shut down one crisis, another one popped up. Now, KFC is facing a gravy shortage.

I’m interested to see if the PR team will use the same humorous approach to tackle this situation or if they will try something new.

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