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Free grilled chicken Monday at KFC

This time, company says it is ready

By Teresa Mears Oct 22, 2009 1:58PM

If you missed the last KFC freebie, the Colonel (or his deputy) has a deal for you. Today, Monday, Oct. 26, more than 5,000 KFC restaurants nationwide will give each customer one free piece of grilled chicken.


Company president Roger Eaton promises you’ll really get your free chicken this time.


Unlike the giveaway promoted by Oprah in May, when customers were turned away after stores ran out of chicken, the company promises it is ready for the onslaught, or what it hopes will be an onslaught of customers, The Associated Press reported. An earlier giveaway in April went well.      


KFC has a lot riding on its grilled chicken, which already accounts for 30% of its sales, analysts say. Larry Miller, a restaurant analyst with RBC Capital Markets, told the AP that the sales mix for grilled chicken was high for a new product but that KFC's last-quarter performance was disappointing. KFC is owned by Yum Brands. Grilled chicken "needs to drive the overall business; otherwise, they're not going to be any better off," Miller said.      

If you’re busy Monday, KFC has some printable coupons on its Web site you can get by registering. And, for now at least, you can get a two-piece grilled chicken meal anytime for $3.99.


The Smart Spending team is divided over whether the grilled chicken is good at any price. Karen found it too fatty for her taste, but I liked it. Perhaps I just have a soft spot for KFC: My mother used to stop at Colonel Harlan Sanders’ original restaurant in Corbin, Ky., on her way to and from college in the 1940s. The top draw then was not chicken, but country ham.


KFC has nutrition information on its Web site. We checked the nutritional analysis of the grilled chicken vs. the original recipe fried chicken and found the grilled version does indeed have significantly fewer calories and fat, though quite a bit of sodium.


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