KFC was the first foreign fast food restaurant chain to enter India in 1990s after the Indian government implemented the economic liberalisation policy. At that time, KFC received permission from the Indian government to open 30 outlets across the country. The first KFC outlet in India was opened in Bangalore in June 1995 and from 30 outlets, the number has grown to 296 today. Fast food restaurants have gained popularity in India because of their customised menus that suit the taste buds of the citizens. Many people have the misconception that KFC only sells fried chicken; this is not at all true. In India, KFC has added a number of vegetarian items on its menu – Veg Zinger, Veg Rice Bowlz, and Veg Strips.
When KFC first entered the Indian market, there were a lot of protests, and the Bangalore outlet was repeatedly ransacked. Many Indians were worried that the Western culture would seep into the Indian roots, leading to the dilution of indigenous traditions. To prevent further onslaughts on the KFC outlet, the management of the KFC outlet demanded a police van to be permanently parked outside for almost a year. Another KFC outlet was opened in Delhi in the same year but the combined revenue of both the Bangalore and Delhi outlets was not sufficient to continue the KFC business in India. The reason why KFC did not gain popularity is because of anti-KFC movements that accused KFC of using illegally high amounts of monosodium glutamate, which are harmful to health. Also, the anti-KFC movements claimed that KFC sold food that was cooked and fried in pork fat. Given all these accusations against KFC, the fast food restaurant did not reap sufficient revenue to continue its operations in India. As a result, KFC had to abandon the Indian market.
Once the Indian market cooled down, KFC returned to the country in 1999 and set up an outlet in Bangalore. Until 2004, KFC only operated one outlet in India. As the sole outlet started making money, KFC expanded its operations throughout India and today, KFC outlets can be found in a number of cities. KFC has come a long way since its establishment in India in 1995. Despite facing a rejection from consumers, KFC did not lose hope in the Indian market. Instead of eliminating India from its venues of operation, it analysed the problems faced by KFC in India and worked hard to resolve them. It is this tenacity that won the hearts and stomachs of millions of Indians, who finally decided to embrace KFC’s dishes and give KFC a second chance.
KFC (short for Kentucky Fried Chicken) is an American fast food restaurant chain headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, that specializes in fried chicken. It is the world’s second-largest restaurant chain (as measured by sales) after McDonald’s, with 22,621 locations globally in 150 countries as of December 2019. The chain is a subsidiary of Yum ! Brands, a restaurant company that also owns the Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and WingStreet chains.
KFC was founded by Colonel Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur who began selling fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky, during the Great Depression. Sanders identified the potential of the restaurant franchising concept, and the first “Kentucky Fried Chicken” franchise opened in Utah in 1952. KFC popularized chicken in the fast-food industry, diversifying the market by challenging the established dominance of the hamburger. By branding himself as “Colonel Sanders”, Harland became a prominent figure of American cultural history, and his image remains widely used in KFC advertising to this day. However, the company’s rapid expansion overwhelmed the aging Sanders, and he sold it to a group of investors led by John Y. Brown Jr. and Jack C. Massey in 1964.
KFC was one of the first American fast-food chains to expand internationally, opening outlets in Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Jamaica by the mid-1960s. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, it experienced mixed fortunes domestically, as it went through a series of changes in corporate ownership with little or no experience in the restaurant business. In the early-1970s, KFC was sold to the spirits distributor Heublein, which was taken over by the R.J. Reynolds food and tobacco conglomerate; that company sold the chain to PepsiCo. The chain continued to expand overseas, however, and in 1987, it became the first Western restaurant chain to open in China. It has since expanded rapidly in China, which is now the company’s single largest market. PepsiCo spun off its restaurants division as Tricon Global Restaurants, which later changed its name to Yum ! Brands.
KFC’s original product is pressure-fried chicken pieces, seasoned with Sanders’ recipe of 11 herbs and spices. The constituents of the recipe are a trade secret. Larger portions of fried chicken are served in a cardboard “bucket”, which has become a feature of the chain since it was first introduced by franchisee Pete Harman in 1957. Since the early-1990s, KFC has expanded its menu to offer other chicken products such as chicken fillet sandwiches and wraps, as well as salads and side dishes such as French fries and coleslaw, desserts, and soft drinks, the latter often supplied by PepsiCo. KFC is known for its slogans “It’s Finger Lickin’ Good !”, “Nobody does chicken like KFC”, and “So good”.