Union ‘warned’ KFC against switching delivery suppliers as it brands kitchen crisis an ‘absolute cock-up’

KFC’s decision to swap the supplier that delivers chicken to its restaurants was today branded “bird-brained” by trade union GMB as it emerged that some 750 of the chain’s UK branches remain closed.

Bosses at KFC insist the firm is “working flat out” to get stores back up and running again after turning away customers due to a shortage in its core product.

GMB claims it tried to warn KFC switching the delivery contract from Bidvest Logistics to DHL “in order to save money” would have consequences.

Until last week, the fried chicken giant delivered poultry to UK outlets via the expert food distribution firm. But GMB claims that KFC awarded the contract to DHL on Tuesday “in a bid to increase profits” – causing 255 redundancies and the closure of a Bidvest depot.

Bidvest had a network of distribution centres across the UK, but the union claims DHL is trying to do the job with just one.

Mick Rix, GMB national officer, said: “We tried to warn KFC this decision would have consequences – well now the chickens are coming home to roost. Bidvest are specialists – a food distribution firm with years of experience. DHL are scratching around for any work they can get, and undercut them.

“It’s an absolute cock-up. KFC are left with hundreds of restaurants closed while DHL try and run the whole operation out of one distribution centre – where conditions are an utter shambles.

“Three weeks ago KFC knew they had made a terrible mistake, but by then it was too late. KFC’s bird-brained decision has caused untold misery to customers, to Bidvest workers and restaurant staff who are not being paid. Now they’ve been left with egg on their face.”

KFC has not indicated how much the closures have cost in lost business, and any calculation made is complicated by the fact that 80% of its branches are run by franchisees.

However, the chain is understood to make sales of more than £1 billion a year in the UK, which equates to an average of £2.3m across its store network every day.

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One Comment;

  1. Malcolm said:

    The big worry should be, were are the chickens pieces now in the logistics process. They have a limited shelf life and will these possibly out of date chicken pieces will reach the food chain. Lets hope no member of the public fall ill as a direct result. A scary thought to ponder !

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