This business saga began in the 1940s. Colonel Harland Sanders, now retired, started selling his favorite dish, chicken, cooked according to his main specialty recipe, at his own gas station in Kentucky. Sanders worked in a variety of fields after retiring before deciding to take on this massive undertaking in the future. He was nearly 50 years old when he first started his business.
His company went out of business in the early 1950s. The highway near his personal gas station was closed. The Colonel quickly sold all of his property and began looking for new business ideas and funding to open a brand new restaurant. He was in his sixties at the time.
Many people laughed openly, but in early 1952, the colonel found a partner in businessman Pete Harman, who agreed to buy a recipe and help open a chic restaurant after a little business analysis. Kentucky Fried Chicken (literally “fried chicken from Kentucky”) was the name of the venture, and it was destined to be a smashing success.
By 1960, there were over 800 cafes and restaurants in the United States and Canada. After a little more than four years, retired Colonel Sanders sold his business for $4 million (equivalent to $18 million in today’s prices) and went out of business, becoming a millionaire.
Of course, the recipe was the most important aspect of the business. To this day, the secret combination of three spices and a precise amount of oil is guarded like the apple of an eye. In 2009, the billionaire company KFC placed the piece of paper on which the colonel had written down the recipe in a bulletproof and fireproof safe with three locks, forty years later. The safe was transported to the headquarters under the strictest security; access to the recipe was granted to only two unnamed company employees.
Despite Sanders’ death in 1983, his emblem remains an important part of KFC’s branding and marketing strategy. The colonel is also depicted on the company’s primary logo.
This network is now one of the world’s largest fast-food chains. More than 50,000 restaurants are now open in 119 countries across all continents. More than 20,000 people work for KFC.
In 1930, Harland Sanders opens his first restaurant near a roadside gas station in Corbin, Kentucky.
Harland received the “Order of the Kentucky Colonels” in 1935 for his contributions to the development of roadside food. Ruby Laffoon, Governor of Kentucky, presented the order.
1937 – The first large restaurant, Sanders Court & Cafe, which could seat 142 people at once, open.
1940 – the birth of the Secret Recipe, which consists of 11 herbs and spices and is still kept secret to this day.
1952 marks the start of the franchising industry’s growth. The first franchise agreement with Pete Harman is completed.
The popular basket packaging for ready-made chicken was introduced in 1957.
In 1964, the network included 600 franchised service points in Canada and the United States.
KFC stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1969.
1979 – New restaurants are added to the network (total network includes 6,000 restaurants), and sales reach $ 2 million.
PepsiCo acquires KFC in 1986.
Tricon Global Restaurants Inc., a PepsiCo subsidiary, was founded in 1997.
In 2006, the term “Finger-Lickin’ Good” was coined.
2009 – the creation of a new dish, Kentucky Grilled Chicken – grilled chicken (a product with a minimum fat content).
KFC debuted in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in 2011.
KFC’s distinctiveness stems from the high quality of the chicken used in all of its dishes. Every day, fresh chilled meat is delivered by local vendors. KFC’s unique recipe is used to hand-cook the chicken, which is done by specially trained chefs. Cooks create a distinct flavor that their guests adore. Every day, over 15 million people visit restaurants. There are 240 restaurants in Russia and the CIS, 61 of which are corporate enterprises and the rest operate under a franchise agreement.