KFC ditches Colonel and bones in new restaurant
'KFC eleven' will serve boneless chicken and rice bowls to woo millennials, but does that really make it upscale?
Ever eager to show the kids that it's hip to their jive, KFC parent company Yum Brands (YUM) has decided to launch a spin-off chain that ditches the image of Colonel Harland Sanders and boned pieces of its Original Recipe Chicken. Instead, the new test outlet in Louisville, Ky., will serve the boneless chicken the company launched in April, as well as flatbread, rice bowls and salad.
Yum doesn't want to turn off millennials who associate the brand with old things and a pile of bones, so it's trying to forge an identity that clicks with a generation that's increasingly choosing Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) and Panera Bread (PNRA) over other fast food.
That new KFC eleven identity -- named for KFC's secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices -- may change what the young folks think, but it may just as likely make them wonder why they can't get a Big Gulp-size drink with their six-piece meal.
We understand that sub-branding is all the rage right now in a very confused fast-food landscape. McDonald's (MCD) has its McCafe, Burger King (BKW) toyed with Whopper bars, but KFC eleven poses a unique challenge for Yum Brands, whose approach to this tactic has been to lump its Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell brands into hybrid restaurants. That approach has become such a fixture in American consumer culture that the group Das Racist turned a song called "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" into an online hit.
In that context, KFC eleven sure sounds like a place where hungry late-night eaters could snag some chicken, a Big Bite hot dog, a tankard of the sugary drink of their choice and a lottery ticket, doesn't it? But for the record, 7-Eleven isn't a Yum Brands subsidiary and will likely suggest a name change for this franchise after the test location opens in August.
We realize that KFC is playing to a generation that has never known a world without a boneless McNugget, but it's also ignoring the fact that boned chicken is actually doing well in places that aren't ashamed to serve it. KFC says it's just following the lead of DineEquity's (DIN) Applebee's and Darden's (DRI) Red Lobster, which have taken a similar approach. But both of those chains have had their customers plucked by Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD +0.43%), which has turned extremely bony chicken bits into a thriving business in a slumping casual-dining category.
With even the McNugget slingers at McDonald's flirting with chicken wings, and with bony chicken outlets like Pollo Tropical taking off, KFC's attempt at upscale casual dining reminds millennials and other customers what "upscale" really means in restaurant business jargon: a shameless grab for disposable income.
As usual, CORPORATE IDIOTS are fixing something that isn't broken.
There's that old saying for a reason;
"If it ain't broke, don't FIX it."
I agree 110% with Neonguy1971; and if you corporate idiots don't believe that just ask the bigger idiots @ JC Penny. Their profit may not have been the best before they made the complete makeover but it really went in the bucket after their so called "makeover".
This is a Chinese Company, not Kentuckian. No Kentuckian would be caught dead eating a bowl of rice, flat bread and a salad. Get real! If the Chinese hat the menu so damn much, then why did these ****s buy the company? So you could introduce people to eating bowls of rice with flatbread?
Get real... This isn't China and KFC is utterly dead until YUM Brands sells out and gets out. Peking, go to hell.
I went to my local KFC to get an bucket of bone less chicken like I had done on another occasion. I didn't see it on the menu (it hadn't been previously, either) and asked if they had a boneless bucket. I was told yes, but there would be a 25 cent surcharge PER PIECE!!!!! I told them never mind and drove out. On another occasion a couple of months ago, I gave my order and asked for a SMALL soda and was told that I had to buy a larger size because for some reason (no, I wasn't using a coupon) they wouldn't sell it in that size???. No amount of asking would get me the smaller size. I told them to forget the drink, I'd go next door to Carls', Jr. and get the drink, got my chicken and left.
They have just 'modernized' their building, but I'm not sure if I'll ever go inside again...
Funny how on my keyboard, the lower case I's keep looking like lower case L's.
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A basic income policy can actually ensure a decent standard of living for everyone.
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