When it comes to KFC, the Colonel can be played by any number of performers, the menu can vary from country to country, and terrifying ideas can come and go (we see you, Double Down), but the one non-negotiable requirement is, um, the C. But earlier this week, more than 400 KFC restaurants in the United Kingdom were forced to temporarily close because a delivery problem left them without chicken, the one food that is literally in its name.
According to the BBC, at least 200 of the locations remain closed, and many of those that have reopened are working with limited menus, shortened hours, or both. On Friday, KFC sent out a massive apology to its customers and said the only thing it could possibly say in this situation: “FCK!” The company took out a full-page ad in the Sun and Metro newspapers which featured an empty KFC bucket with the letters F-C-K printed underneath the face of its iconic Colonel.
“A chicken restaurant without any chicken. It’s not ideal,” the ad said. “Huge apologies to our customers, especially those who travelled out their way to find we were closed.” KFC also thanked its employees and franchise partners for their “tireless” work during the chickenless crisis. “It’s been a hell of a week,” KFC said. “But we’re making progress and every day, more and more fresh chicken is being delivered to our restaurants.”
That’s good news, not only for dedicated KFC customers, but also for police departments, who have had to field phone calls from people who thought that an 11-secret-herbs-and-spices shortage was an emergency situation. “For those who contacted the Police about KFC being out of chicken…please STOP,” a division of the Greater Manchester Police tweeted. “Their website says the Prestwich store is now open if you want to follow the four police cars through the drive thru.”
The chicken shortage was caused due to what it described as “teething problems” after the chicken giant changed its delivery contract to DHL. “Getting fresh chicken out to 900 restaurants across the country is pretty complex,” KFC said in a statement, while DHL apologized for its “operational issues.”
KFC has not said how long its remaining stores will be closed, or when it expects to have all of its fridges stocked again. But hopefully that apology made another few days without KFC seem slightly easier to swallow. Slightly.