KFC will use the government’s Kickstart Scheme to fuel a massive recruitment drive as it profits from a takeaway boom due to the crisis.
The chain plans to create 5,400 jobs in the UK, adding to the 4,300 roles it has hired for since March.
Paula MacKenzie, general manager at KFC UK & Ireland, said: “There’s no denying it’s been a tough year for the hospitality sector, and we’re already seeing the substantial impact of that across our high streets and city centres.
“The vast majority of our restaurants are run by franchisees, which are often smaller family-owned businesses that have faced the unique set of challenges of this year, including the complete closure of restaurants in March – we’re proud to have been able to work together to reopen responsibly and in turn ensure the stability of our restaurants and provide new job openings into the industry at this time.”
KFC’s recruitment programme is aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds and it will receive funding to pay the national minimum wage to get young people back into the work under the Kickstart initiative.
The company said all new hires would be on full-time or part-time contracts.
KFC has 965 stores in the UK and Ireland. 95% of these restaurants are run by 37 franchise partners.