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Page added on February 26, 2018

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How does KFC run out of chicken?


How on earth does a fast food restaurant that specializes in chicken run out of … chicken?

This week KFC temporarily closed up to 800 stores in the UK and Ireland after a failure in its supply chain for chicken.

KFC had recently switched delivery and logistics suppliers from Bidvest Logistics to DHL (DPW). It was a massive win for DHL: Britain is KFC’s largest market in Europe, and one of its top five globally. For its part, DHL promised to set “a new benchmark for delivering fresh products to KFC.”

A new benchmark was achieved — just not the one either company anticipated. It all fell apart. (The service, not the chicken.)

There’s a simplicity to this story that makes it fascinating. No doubt dozens of people were involved in this massive transfer of contract. And no doubt there is a sophisticated explanation for the “operational issues” that DHL cited.

Yet it still went spectacularly wrong. This is a sharp reminder to guard against hubris. If it can go wrong, it will.

I guess we finally know why the chicken crossed the road: Because KFC was closed.


7 Comments on "How does KFC run out of chicken?"

  1. bobinget on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 12:05 pm 

    DHL must’ve run out or cluck.

    Blame France. Brits will eat anything.

  2. Outcast_Searcher on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 12:58 pm 

    And this is news? As if businesses never ran short on inventory. As is businesses never made mistakes. As if businesses never made promises they couldn’t keep. (See Tesla for the poster child for that).

    Must be a very slow “news” day.

  3. Anonymouse1 on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 1:01 pm 

    amerikans will eat anything they can shovel down gaping maws.

  4. Go Speed Racer on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 4:46 pm 

    Hey they did not run out of oil,
    for frying the chicken.

    This proves Peak Oil is false.
    But there might be Peak Chicken.

  5. JH Wyoming on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 5:09 pm 

    I used DHL once and they lost the package but said it might be at their SF headquarters in south SF. So I went there and when I saw the size of the warehouse I turned around and gave up on that package.

  6. Bob on Tue, 27th Feb 2018 3:28 pm 

    So exactly what was the problem? The article doesn’t even try to answer its own headline. GeeeeZZZ!!

  7. Dooma on Tue, 27th Feb 2018 7:41 pm 

    Who knows, but it should permanently run out of chicken. Then maybe obesity rates might dip around the world and veins run free.

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