You’ve Got to Be Clucking With Me, KFC Ran Out of Chicken in the UK?: A Fast Food Reality Story

“No matter how perfect the setup, if it can go wrong it will.”

–Richard Quest of  “Quest’s Profitable Moment” in “How does KFC run out of chicken?” (February 23, 2018)

What do you do if you have your mouth set for a piece of KFC chicken and your local restaurant is closed because they don’t have any? Do you try to wake up from your nightmare and realize it’s really happening in the UK, and your fast food comrades are suffering? Sadly it was a proven fact earlier this year.

When the company was questioned about the “cluck up” of course they passed the blame and told Ruth Brown in What the cluck? KFC runs out of chicken (February 18, 2018, New York Post), “We’ve brought a new delivery partner on board, but they’ve had a couple of teething problems-getting fresh chicken out to 900 restaurants across the country is pretty complex!” But was it really fair to throw DHL under the bus for their failure to deliver the addictive meat?

In Making It In America by John Bassett and Ellis Henican, they write, “When a leader of a company makes a mistake they must do five things: (1) Admit it; (2) Take responsibility; (3) Correct the problem; (4) Compensate the people who were hurt; and (5) Rebuild public confidence and ensure that it won’ t happen again.”

While some restaurants chose to see the glass as half empty and closed entirely, others tried to see it as half full and stayed open. Side dishes of mashed spuds with gorgeous brown gravy, flaky biscuits awaiting honey, refreshing coleslaw, sweet corn, cookies and soft drinks could make a satisfying meal if you don’t mind doing without the chicken. If you do it’s a sad occasion.

Comments on social media were both helpful and hilarious, making this crisis direr. One that was both was @livekindlyco’s Twitter, on February 20, 2018, “Quorn offers its #vegan chicken nuggets to KFC. That’s one way to solve the chicken shortage.”

Despite this solution, the question remains, “How did it happen?”. Richard Quest of Quest’s Profitable Moment in How does KFC run out of chicken (February 23, 2018) sums it up by saying, “No matter how perfect the setup, if it can go wrong it will.”

As this tasty obstacle passed into UK history, and quick food aficionados were able to resume their fix, British gravy fans will also have plenty of chicken and gravy to complete their Christmas dinners.

In case another chicken crisis arises, I’ve included below one of the best fried chicken recipes available from Joy of Cooking Cookbook, by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker.

food dish served on black ceramic plate
Photo by Chan Walrus on


Pan-Fried Or Sauteed Chicken (p.577)

(Allow 3/4 Pound per Person)

Clean and cut into pieces:

Young chickens

Dredge them lightly with:

(Seasoned flour or corn meal)

Melt in a skillet:

A mixture of butter and oil

allowing for each half chicken 2 or more tablespoons of fat. When the fat has reached the point of fragrance, add the chicken. Cook and turn it in the hot fat until brown. Reduce the heat and continue cooking the chicken, turning frequently until done, from 20 to 30 minutes, according to size. Cook only until tender, as further cooking will dry and toughen the meat.

Works Cited:

Brown, Ruth. “What the cluck? KFC runs out of chicken”, February 19, 2018,

Allen, Felix. “Clucking Hell Why has KFC run out of chicken, which Kentucky Fried Chicken stores are open and what’s the DHL deal?”, February 22, 2018,

Quest, Richard. “How does KFC run out of chicken?”, February 23, 2018,

Bassett, John and Henican, Ellis. “Making It In America”, Hachette Book Group, 2016

Rombauer, Irma S., and Becker, Marion Rombauer. “Joy of Cooking Cookbook”, Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1931













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