16 things we learned when we went behind the counter at KFC (2023)

Sometimes there's nothing better than tucking into some KFC chicken.

It can be a tasty treat at the end of the week or some comfort after a tough day.

But many of you, like me, have wondered what it's really like inside the kitchen of one of the county's most popular fast food restaurants.

To help customers get a better of what goes on behind the scenes, up to 300 KFC branches across the country recently opened up their kitchens to the public.

Diners experienced first hand howthe chain's cooks make the famous original recipe chicken fresh in restaurants every day.

16 things we learned when we went behind the counter at KFC (1)

Chicken lovers were even given the chance to see if they can master the art of hand-breading, handle the heat of the fryers and work at pace to build their ownburger.

Somerset Live was invited by KFC to go behind the scenes of its Taunton branch and see how the food is cooked and get a better understanding of what goes on in the kitchen.

1) You have to fill out and sign a health and safety form

16 things we learned when we went behind the counter at KFC (2)

Before you enter the kitchen, you have to do some admin.

You are handed a questionnaire which asks if you are unwell or recently experienced symptoms of diarrhoea, vomiting or any bowel disorder.

The form is in accordance to KFC's strict health and safety guidelines where poorly employees are not allowed near food or preparation surfaces to avoid contaminating food.

For the record, I signed no to all of these questions.

2) You have to wear shoe covers

16 things we learned when we went behind the counter at KFC (3)

You wear the shoe covers to protect your footwear, prevent you from slipping or damaging the kitchen floor and, of course, for hygiene reasons.

Even with size 10 shoes, these were difficult to apply.

3) You get handed a KFC-branded apron and cap

To make you feel like one of the crew, one of the employees hands you an apron and cap to wear.

If you have long hair or a beard, you must also wear a hair or bread net. Because no one likes to see hair in their popcorn chicken.

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4) You wash your hands at nearly every point

The first thing you do going into the kitchen is rigorously wash your hands.

This is a necessary procedure before touching any food and to avoid any contamination.

Employees can then either prepare the food with their hands or wear gloves.

5) Every piece of chicken is fresh

16 things we learned when we went behind the counter at KFC (9)

If you're curious what the state of the chicken is before it's prepared for cooking, rest assured that the chicken is fresh.

With regular deliveries, the branch doesn't use frozen chicken.

The thighs, wings, breasts and legs all arrive bagged and ready for preparation.

6) There's a very specific 'seven-ten-seven' technique to breading the chicken

16 things we learned when we went behind the counter at KFC (10)

One of the crew members showed the thorough process of how pieces of chicken are prepared.

Straight from a fridge, he poured the meat into a basket where it was washed in water before being shaken seven times to help dry it.

The chicken, which included fillets, breasts and legs, is then tipped into a bowl of flour mixed with salt, spices and the secret KFC recipe.

The flour is folded over the meat 10 times before pieces are picked up and patted down seven times. Any excess flour is dusted off and it's then placed on a grill.

The restaurant's manager, Alice Yarde, said the chicken is cooked evenly so the oil flows through the meat.

7) ...but there's a different way to prepare drumsticks

16 things we learned when we went behind the counter at KFC (11)

(Video) 16 KFC Facts You never knew

While it's straight forward to cook most bits of chicken, it's slightly different for drumsticks.

Drumsticks are double breaded before being placed in the fryer.

An employee said this was to ensure the meat cooks properly and its skin doesn't crack.

8) Every batch goes through the same cooking process

16 things we learned when we went behind the counter at KFC (12)

The meat is fried in oil at 178C.

Each batch goes in the fryer for 15 minutes and then is left to drain for five minutes before it can be served.

Once cooked, the chicken has to reach the customer within an hour-and-a-half.

9) The 'seven-ten-seven' technique takes a while to figure out

16 things we learned when we went behind the counter at KFC (13)

The previous stage is basically a tutorial as I was thrown into the deep end to bread chicken.

You pour the pieces into the basket to be washed, floured and then placed on the grill.

The process of burying the chicken and uncovering is almost like digging for tasty treasure.

The 'seven-ten-seven' process was hard to follow at first but, thankfully, I was surrounded by some very helpful employees who were able to give me prompts on what I should do.

Perhaps it is a process of 'learn by doing' and after several attempts at breading chicken, the process would become a lot easier.

For obvious health and safety reasons, you cannot get the chicken out of the fryer.

10) There's a person at every station

16 things we learned when we went behind the counter at KFC (14)

In short, it's a very streamlined process.

Employees are based on the flour section, chip pan fryer and sandwich section to make sure the food preparation and cooking is efficient as it can be.

(Video) I Found The Secret KFC Recipe

11) The kitchen smells like chicken heaven

16 things we learned when we went behind the counter at KFC (15)

This is a very obvious point but the kitchen has a nice whiff of chicken, spice and herbs.

The delicious smell made my stomach rumble a few times.

12) Screen shows what menu items can be sold

16 things we learned when we went behind the counter at KFC (16)

There are helpful screens inside the kitchen which tells chefs what food can be prepared and what needs to be cooked.

The store's general manager, Alice Yarde, likened it to being the "cook's bible" and said: "This tells the cook what's on hand.

"We do a forecast every day on how much we think we're going to take which we do on the computer and sends the information onto here (the screen)."

13) Building a fillet burger is enjoyable

16 things we learned when we went behind the counter at KFC (17)

In comparison to breading the chicken pieces, this was more straightforward and less stressful.

I was whisked to the other end of the kitchen to the sandwich section to make my own classic fillet burger. Yum.

You can pick from different sauces or add bacon, lettuce, cheese or hash browns to your burger.

I was able to go at my own pace and add my lettuce, salsa and cheese to a tasty toasted bun.

Accompanied with a Pepsi Max and fries, it was a filling and satisfying meal.

Watch the video above to see me build my fillet burger

14) Leftover food is left inside a heated holding cabinet

16 things we learned when we went behind the counter at KFC (18)

If it's a slow day or there's an excess of chicken, the meat isn't just left to cool on the side.

After the chicken has been drained of oil, employees stick the grill tray into a heated holding cabinet.

(Video) 16 KFC Facts you never knew

If, for example, a fillet is required for a burger, a crew member would take a warm piece and place it in a bun.

15) The kitchen was spotless

16 things we learned when we went behind the counter at KFC (19)

When a man shared photos of the poor state of a McDonalds branch in 2018, people were left wondering about the state of fast food kitchens.

This wasn't the case at KFC.

The kitchen was tidy with no leaks or spillages and employees clearly followed a strict hygiene code.

There was no grabbing the pieces of chicken with our fingers or handling the other food items. We had to use metal tongues for all items which have been deep fried.

The East Street branch currently has a food hygiene rating of five and was found to be 'very good' in food handling, cleanliness and management of food safety.

16) My closing thoughts

16 things we learned when we went behind the counter at KFC (20)

I've always been interested in what goes on behind the scenes at KFC and it was a pleasant experience.

I didn't think the chicken cooking process was going to be as thorough and technical as it was.

It was difficult to get my head around (although, to be fair, I've never been cut out for manual labour) which made me appreciate but also understand what KFC employees do on every shift.

The staff were helpful and knew a lot about the restaurant and its vast menu.

It's given me a newfound respect of its employees and more understanding of the bargain buckets and popcorn chicken I've been tucking into over the years.

Do you have a Taunton or West Somerset story to share? Get in touch: michael.taylor@reachplc.com, tweet @JournoMikeT or call 01935 709742.

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What is the reason behind the success of KFC? ›

KFC popularized chicken in the fast food industry, diversifying the market by challenging the established dominance of the hamburger. In 1960 the company had around 200 franchised restaurants; by 1963 this had grown to over 600, making it the largest fast food operation in the United States.

What is the main message of KFC? ›

At KFC, we have a passion for food, and serve it with pride. We believe that you should come to work as the best version of yourself and treat every guest like a friend. And it's our job to ensure that every guest leaves happy.

What are some fun facts about KFC? ›

Interesting Facts About KFC You Didn't Know About
  • The Chicken Recipe Is Still a Secret. ...
  • KFC was Initially Named Sanders Court & Café ...
  • Eating KFC is a Christmas Tradition in Japan. ...
  • Some People Almost Succeed in Creating the Secret Recipe. ...
  • KFC Has an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet in Japan.
  • KFC Did Not Always Sell Buckets of Chicken.
Mar 18, 2021

What is KFC back story? ›

KFC began with the blood, sweat and tears of one man, Colonel Harland Sanders. Born in 1890, he discovered his penchant for cooking at the mere age of 9. A man who valued hard work, grit and self-determination, he quit school in the sixth grade to earn money for his mother, brother, and sister after his father died.

How did KFC overcome their challenges? ›

But, after confronting difficulties he came up with a very incredible idea of frying chicken. His recipe was unique and after opening one store, he finally got success. There were so many startup challenges faced by the owner of KFC but after all complications, he gave us his very delicious fried chicken.

What strategy does KFC use? ›

KFC started with an undifferentiated targeting strategy as it served the same menu worldwide. However, in recent times, it has started localizing its menu for better acceptability in the market. The KFC marketing strategy incorporates two types of marketing channels: Personal and Non-personal.

Is KFC chicken a junk food? ›

The dishes of KFC are mostly deep-fried and are made using tons of oil. So, the regular consumption of KFC can make you gain weight. Therefore, continuous consumption of fast food, chicken, and meat that too with excess oil can lead to heart and fat-related issues.

What makes KFC unique and different? ›

KFC came up with the pressure fried chicken which set them apart from other chicken restaurants. It also included a special blend of recipes and herbs that made their chicken taste different from the others. Sanders became very popular in the 1930's for using this technique.

What is hidden in the KFC logo? ›

KFC's logo features a depiction of the chicken chain's founder, Harland Sanders, who frequently wore the bow tie featured in the company's advertising.

Which fast food is the oldest? ›

Arguably, the first fast-food restaurants originated in the United States with White Castle in 1921. Today, American-founded fast-food chains such as McDonald's (est. 1940) and KFC (est.

What is the KFC people promise? ›

We want to make sure that our people promise; To be your best self, make a difference and have fun; is alive in every restaurant with every team member.”

What was the KFC crisis? ›

Background of crisis

The famous fried chicken restaurant chain ran out of chicken due to supplier issues.

What does finger licking good mean? ›

Adjective. finger-lickin' good (comparative more finger-lickin' good, superlative most finger-lickin' good) (US, colloquial) Of food: very delicious; delectable, scrumptious.

What challenges KFC faces? ›

KFC is affected with global economic factors such as economic growth rates, inflation rates, and unemployment rates. The high percentage of unemployment in certain region will affect the sales revenue of KFC. However, this issue cannot be controlled by the company as it depends on the economic condition.

How does KFC negatively impact the environment? ›

A complicated history with KFC's paper supplier has affected the personal opinion of the brand. The paper company is linked to deforestation, which negatively impacts the health of the planet. It also contributes to the endangerment of wildlife and similar species who are already on the brink of extinction.

What did KFC get rid of? ›

In an effort to add new items to menus, the fast food chain is removing five items that have become mainstays — Kentucky fried chicken wings, Nashville hot sauce, strawberry lemonade, chocolate chip cookies and popcorn chicken, according to USA Today.

How has KFC influenced consumer learning? ›

Since its entry in 1991 and re-entry in 2003, KFC not only learnt to re-orient and re-discover itself but also co-created several consumer engagement initiatives with Indian consumers. While KFC learnt from its experiences, Indian consumers learnt from KFC's engagement initiatives.

What is positioning strategy? ›

A positioning strategy aims to establish the defining characteristic of a brand in the consumer's mind to influence customer perception to communicate a brand's competitive advantage effectively. It's all about showing the audience how a brand wants to be perceived in the mind of customers relative to competing brands.

Which fast-food is healthiest? ›

10 Healthiest Fast-Food Menu Items
  • Arby's Roast Chicken Entrée Salad. ...
  • Panera's Napa Almond Chicken Salad on Country Rustic Sourdough. ...
  • Chick-Fil-A's Grilled Chicken Sandwich. ...
  • Starbuck's Tomato and Mozzarella Panini. ...
  • Dunkin's Veggie Egg White Omelet. ...
  • Wendy's Sour Cream and Chive Baked Potato.
Dec 28, 2021

Is KFC the healthiest fast-food? ›

KFC was the most calorific the fast-food chain on the list, with an average of 987 calories per meal offered. Burger King, McDonald's and Subway were around 700kcal.

What is the healthiest KFC meal? ›

For the healthiest dish at KFC, opt for the grilled chicken wings, which deliver 70 calories per wing thanks to the cooking method.

What are the core values of KFC? ›

Colonel Sanders was a born innovator and founded KFC on values like hard work, hospitality and generosity that still live large in the KFC brand today. We believe in making chicken the right way, by using quality ingredients and freshly preparing them by hand every day.

Does KFC really have a secret ingredient? ›

KFC confirmed on its website that it uses MSG. “Some of our food does contain MSG but rest assured, it's only present at levels that are safe for the general population,” the fast food giant states on its website.

What is KFC competitive advantage? ›

KFC, second largest restaurant in the world have their outlets around 120 countries with more than 18000 outlets. KFCs competitive advantage is derived from its ability to differentiate and recognize market specialization in its product and service offerings (Guide, 2006). Hence, McDonalds is still cheaper than KFC.

Who sells the most KFC in the world? ›

The major markets for KFC include China (7,166 stores), the United States (3,943 stores), Japan (1,140 stores), South Africa (955 stores), the United Kingdom (928 stores), Thailand (853 stores), Malaysia (743 stores), Indonesia (742 stores), Australia (699 stores), and Canada (601 stores).

What is the biggest KFC bucket? ›

It's the ultimate KFC bucket! Fourteen pieces of our famous Original Recipe chicken, with eight 100% chicken breast Mini Fillets, eight Hot Wings, one large Popcorn Chicken, two large sides and six regular fries, plus a large bottle of drink for sharing.

Why Popeyes is better than KFC? ›

Though KFC's chicken is a bit meatier, the breading is the star of the show at Popeyes, and it is the pretty amount of greasy without coating your hands and tongue. Popeye's chicken is texturally satisfying and doesn't overwhelm you with oil when you bite into it.

What is a free snack at KFC? ›

Customers who have between three and six stamps can collect a free side, including popular dishes like wings or popcorn chicken. If you have seven to ten stamps, you can pick up a regular snack item, such as a mini fillet burger.

What is KFC girlfriend? ›

None of the KFC chicken products are gluten-free. You can, however, eat some of their select sides and salads.

How do I get the KFC secret? ›

Patrons simply have to open their KFC app and select their location for pick-up or delivery, and then swipe down and hold on the menu icon (the chicken drumstick) for ten seconds. A red rectangle with a photo of the Colonel will fade in, the words 'SHH..' indicating that you have accessed a secret portion of the app.

Why does KFC only follow 11? ›

KFC in the US only follows 11 people on Twitter for a very clever reason. The fast food retailer is famous for it's secret seasoning which contains 11 secret herbs and spices. So, in keeping with this, the account follows the five Spice Girls and six people named Herb.

Is the KFC logo a stickman? ›

Colonel Sanders is a stick figure with a giant head. Kfc, Logo design, Clip art.

What does dark meat in KFC mean? ›

Dark meat cuts are the drumstick and thighs. The color differences occur because they are two separate types of muscle.

What is the oldest meal? ›

One of the oldest meals ever eaten may have been discovered in a fossil over half a billion years old. A mollusc-like animal known as Kimberella appears to have enjoyed a meal of green algae and bacteria shortly before its death 558 million years ago.

What is the oldest food still eaten? ›

The Oldest Edible Food Still Found Today: Honey

The oldest edible food in the world is honey, found in a tomb in Ancient Egypt. It's around 3,000 years old and hasn't spoiled due to the honey's antimicrobial properties.

What was Chick Fil A's original name? ›


Cathy started the business in 1946, when he and his brother, Ben, opened an Atlanta diner known as The Dwarf Grill (later renamed The Dwarf House®).

What is the competitive advantage of KFC? ›

KFC's sustainable competitive advantage lies in its adherence to the product and service differentiation and market recognition of specialization (Guide, 2006).

Why was KFC so successful in China? ›

Key to KFC's success in the country has been its aggressive catering to Chinese tastes, with menu items that will never make their way to US restaurants. While KFCs in China serve fried chicken, they also serve a variety of local dishes like egg tarts, congee (rice porridge), and the "Dragon Twister."

What makes KFC chicken unique? ›

The chicken is amazingly moist — thanks to a special device.

The pressure fryer not only lets KFC cook chicken faster and with less oil, but it also locks in moisture. Witherly theorizes that it may also drive some of that salt and MSG into the meat, making it that much more delicious.

What are the benefits of KFC? ›

Most Popular Benefits at Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Corporation
  • Free Drinks/Coke/Juice/Water. Employees: 133.
  • Food/Meal Discounts. Employees: 90.
  • Food/Meals On Duty. Employees: 84.
  • Paid Holidays / Vacation. Employees: 69.
  • Flex-Time / Flexible Schedule. Employees: 58.
  • 401(k) Employees: 44.
  • Paid Sick Leave. Employees: 39.
Jan 31, 2023

What are the 8 competitive advantages? ›

What Is a Competitive Advantage? Competitive advantage refers to factors that allow a company to produce goods or services better or more cheaply than its rivals. These factors allow the productive entity to generate more sales or superior margins compared to its market rivals.

What are the 4 competitive advantages? ›

The four primary methods of gaining a competitive advantage are cost leadership, differentiation, defensive strategies and strategic alliances.

What are the six competitive advantages? ›

There are six items that are considered very important to competitive advantage. They are: location, selection, service, quality, price, speed, and turnaround. If a business can focus on these six areas and develop an advantage over their competitors, they will have a safety net to protect them if the market turns.

Why do Asians like KFC so much? ›

Just like in the United States, the appeal of KFC in Asia also comes down to something simple: It tastes really damn good. The Colonel's secret herbs and spices recipe gives KFC an air of mystery while also being straight-up addictive.

Do people in Japan eat KFC on Christmas? ›

And in Japan, Christmas means KFC. On December 25th every year, you'll find millions of Japanese people sitting down to a hearty meal of KFC fried chicken, with orders placed with the restaurant months in advance. It's all thanks to a very effective marketing campaign that began in the 70s.

What is the most popular fast food in the world? ›

Top Chain Restaurants Worldwide
  • McDonald's. If you guessed McDonald's sat on the top perch as the world's number one fast food chain, you'd be right. ...
  • Subway. ...
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken. ...
  • Starbucks. ...
  • Burger King. ...
  • Pizza Hut. ...
  • Domino's. ...
  • Dunkin' Donuts.

What is the secret ingredient in a KFC? ›

Earlier this month, a woman from New Zealand discovered that Kentucky Fried Chicken's (KFC) famous seasoning contains monosodium glutamate (MSG). She posted her discovery on social media, sparking outrage.

What oil does KFC use? ›

Kentucky Fried Chicken uses canola oil and hydrogenated soybean oil. Their frying oil is combined with whichever oil they use, citric acid, and TBHQ, which is a food additive used to extend the shelf life and prevent the food product from spoiling.

Are KFC chicken healthy? ›

The dishes of KFC are mostly deep-fried and are made using tons of oil. So, the regular consumption of KFC can make you gain weight. Therefore, continuous consumption of fast food, chicken, and meat that too with excess oil can lead to heart and fat-related issues.

How does KFC motivate its employees? ›

KFC employees are invested in their company's goals. They've stated they're also motivated by KFC's mission, vision, and values. Most employees at KFC feel most loyal to their coworkers or boss or manager. Lastly, KFC's employees are proud to work at their company.

Do employees get free food KFC? ›

One Free Meal Per Shift

Similar to KFC, hourly employees at McDonald's who decide to do a full shift are eligible for 1 full meal. To make things better, they have the freedom to choose what they want for their meal (except for menu items from McCafe).

Is KFC healthier than McDonald's? ›

The result: McDonald's wins

While chicken is an obvious Men's Health staple, KFC's reliance on greasy oils and subsequent sky-high calorific content makes Maccy's an unlikely victor.


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