Almost half of KFC restaurants remain closed as supply problems continue to give chicken takeaway fans the bird.
As of 1pm on Tuesday, the doors on 470 of the fast-food chain‘s 900 outlets in its UK-based division were locked.
KFC said it had managed to get supplies of chicken through to 105 additional eateries since Monday night.
But it could not say when all would be open once more. It has provided a list of those open on its official website here.
A KFC statement said: “We anticipate the number of closures will reduce today [Tuesday] and over the coming days as our teams work flat out all hours to clear the backlog.
“Each day more deliveries are being made, however, we expect the disruption to some restaurants to continue over the remainder of the week, meaning some will be closed and others operating with a reduced menu or shortened hours.”
It went on: “We know that this might have inconvenienced some of you over the last few days, and disappointed you when you wanted your fried chicken fix – we’re really sorry about that.”
Thousands of people have vented their frustration and dismay over social media. Even the police have been caught up in the anger, with officers in Tower Hamlets, east London tweeting that they could not respond to information of a shut KFC restaurant.
The chain said earlier in the week: “The chicken crossed the road, just not to our restaurants…”
DHL, which took over the supply chain last week from Bidvest, blamed “operational issues” for its failure to supply the restaurants with chicken.
Please do not contact us about the #KFCCrisis – it is not a police matter if your favourite eatery is not serving the menu that you desire.
— Tower Hamlets MPS (@MPSTowerHam) February 20, 2018
KFC says 430 of its outlets were open as of 1pm on Tuesday compared with 325 at 9pm on Monday.
Meanwhile, workers are being encouraged to take holiday but not forced to do so. The situation is complicated as many of the KFC outlets are run as franchises.
The company said that in the restaurants owned by the chain, staff on short-term contracts would be paid the average hours worked per day over the past 12 weeks, while those on salaries would be paid as normal.
It said franchisees would be urged to adopt a similar pay model.
Mick Rix, the GMB union’s national officer, said he told KFC that it could face supply problems when it ditched Bidvest Logistics in favour of DHL.
He said: “Bidvest are specialists – a food distribution firm with years of experience. DHL are scratching around for any work they can get, and undercut them.”