KFC returns to original supplier after chicken shortage fiasco

Fast food chain rehires Bidvest, which promises ‘seamless’ return to fresh chicken deliveries.

KFC has gone back to its original recipe for chicken deliveries by rehiring Bidvest Logistics in the wake of last month’s supply fiasco.

The American fast food chain was forced to temporarily close hundreds of stores after it ran out of chicken following the botched handover of its logistics contract to DHL and QSL. “To put it simply,” KFC tweeted at the time, “we’ve got the chicken, we’ve got the restaurants, but we’ve just had issues getting them together.”

Bidvest lost out to its rivals when the contract was put out to tender in 2017, but on Thursday it announced that it had won some of that business back, after signing a long-term agreement to supply around a third of KFC’s 900 restaurants.

“We are delighted to welcome KFC back to Bidvest Logistics,” said its business unit director, Paul Whyte, who could not resist a dig at its rivals’ failings. “As the UK’s leading food service logistics specialist, we understand the complexities of delivering fresh chicken … We will provide them with a seamless return to our network.”

A small number of KFC outlets remain closed while others are offering a limited menu. The company said it had taken the decision to re-engage Bidvest as it tried to get “back to business as usual”.

“Our focus remains on ensuring our customers can enjoy our chicken without further disruption,” said a KFC spokesman. “With that in mind, the decision has been taken in conjunction with QSL and DHL to revert the distribution contract for up to 350 of our restaurants in the north of the UK back to Bidvest Logistics.

“The decision will ease pressure on DHL’s Rugby depot, to help get our restaurants back to normal as quickly as possible. As its stands, over 97% of our 900 restaurants are now open for business, although there will be some limited menus before we are back to business as usual.”