“The chicken crossed the road, just not to our restaurants.”
This weekend, KFC tried to find humor in its chicken shortage, which has prompted the fast-food chain to temporarily close hundreds of its restaurants in Britain. As the shortage entered its fourth day Tuesday, some unhappy fried chicken-less customers have resorted to calling on their local police and parliament members to do something.
Police in the London borough of Tower Hamlets asked residents to abstain from calling law enforcement officers about the "#KFCCrisis."
“It is not a police matter if your favourite eatery is not serving the menu that you desire,” the police department said in a tweet.
Neil Coyle, a member of the British parliament representing London boroughs, said Monday that he has been contacted by disappointed KFC customers. To which his fellow parliament member, Will Quince, replied: “I love KFC as much as the next man but to complain to your local MP that your local KFC is closed?! They must really love fried chicken!”
KFC said the shortage was caused not by fowl play, but by “a couple of teething problems” with its new delivery partner, DHL.
“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,” KFC said Saturday. “Shout out to our restaurant teams who are working flat out to get us back up and running again.”
By Tuesday, KFC announced that more than half of its 900 restaurants in the United Kingdom are back open, though it remains unclear when all locations will be fully operational.
Two days ago, a disappointed customer posted a video on YouTube showing a closed location in Manchester, England.
“So we're going to have to hit a McDonald's up,” the customer said in the video. “This is s‑‑‑ mate. We like our chicken. You know we like our chicken.”
On cue, the hashtag #KFCCRISIS began trending.
And the Sun, a British tabloid, splashed the news across its front page.
DHL said that a number of its deliveries had been “incomplete or delayed” because of operational issues, CNN Money reported.
The mishap came just months after KFC partnered with DHL as part of the fast-food chain's ambition to “revolutionize” the food service distribution market in the Britain.
A news release from October said DHL will manage KFC's warehouse and distribution service, with a “greater focus on innovation, quality and service performance” and a promise to “provide a faster turnaround of orders.”
KFC assured its customers that “the Colonel is working on it,” a lighthearted reference to the late Col. Harland Sanders, the U.S.-based chain's founder.
Sanders acquired a service station in the 1930s in Corbin, Ky., and later transformed it into a restaurant, where he cooked his signature fried chicken.
He franchised Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1952 at the age of 62 and sold it for $2 million 12 years later. Sanders, whose image is featured in KFC's logo, is now known in more than 100 countries for his fried chicken recipe.
KFC is now owned by Yum! Brands, a Kentucky-based company that also owns Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.
This post has been updated.