Fast-food chain KFC has closed hundreds of outlets across the UK after they ran out of chicken.
Things were not so finger-licking good for disappointed fried chicken fans after problems with a new distribution system forced the closures.
Last week, KFC switched its delivery contract to DHL, which blamed “operational issues” for the supply disruption.
KFC has about 900 UK restaurants, with more than 80% run by franchisees.
Closures have been reported in areas including London and the South East, the Midlands, East Anglia, the North East and Wales.
Until last Tuesday, KFC’s chicken was delivered by South African-owned distribution group Bidvest, which describes itself as “the leading supplier of logistical and supply chain solutions to the UK hospitality and restaurant sector”.
But after the change in the contract, many of the food giant’s outlets began running out of chicken products.
“The chicken crossed the road, just not to our restaurants,” KFC said on Twitter.
“We’ve brought a new delivery partner onboard, but they’ve had a couple of teething problems – getting fresh chicken out to 900 restaurants across the country is pretty complex!” it added, apologising to customers for the inconvenience.
“We won’t compromise on quality, so no deliveries has meant some of our restaurants are closed, and others are operating a limited menu or shortened hours.”
The statement listed KFC restaurants that were still open despite the problems.
The distribution network uses software developed by the firm Quick Service Logistics (QSL).
DHL said: “Due to operational issues, a number of deliveries in recent days have been incomplete or delayed. We are working with our partners, KFC and QSL, to rectify the situation as a priority and apologise for any inconvenience.”
One KFC customer, Claire, told BBC Radio 5 live she was surprised when she went out with her children at the weekend.
“We went on Saturday night to our local KFC in Luton and queued for about 20 minutes in the drive-thru, about 15 cars in the queue, and when we got to the actual counter and asked for our standard family bucket, we were told there was no chicken,” she said.
“The kids, who are nine-year-old twins, they wanted chicken and clearly it wasn’t available, so we said there’s nothing available that we wanted, and we then had the joy of queuing to get back out again.”
Other disgruntled KFC customers have been taking to Twitter to express their dismay at the shortages.
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