KFC chicken crisis: Fast food giant returns to old delivery contractor after 'drought'

Eleanor Rose
Shuttered: More than 500 KFC restaurants closed in an unprecedented fried chicken shortage: AFP

Takeaway lovers can breathe a sigh of relief after KFC returned to its former delivery contractor after hundreds of its restaurants were hit by a severe chicken shortage.

Supply chain problems caused closures across London and the UK last month, with fast food fans venting their outrage after discovering restaurants were shut because of a "chicken drought".

At the height of the crisis, one distraught woman was filmed by ITV News ranting that she had "had to go to Burger King".

Bidvest Logistics had lost its KFC contract to DHL, the delivery firm which sparked chicken shortages after it had "teething problems" as it attempted to get chicken out to restaurants.

A woman ranted 'I've had to go to Burger King' on ITV's News at Ten as a shortage of KFC gripped the nation

DHL announced in November that it had been appointed alongside QSL to manage supply and distribution for more than 850 KFC restaurants throughout the UK.

But on Thursday, Bidvest said it was "delighted" to confirm it had signed a new long-term agreement with KFC UK & Ireland to supply 350 restaurants across northern England and Wales.

Its business unit director, Paul Whyte, said: "As the UK's leading food service logistics specialist, we understand the complexities of delivering fresh chicken.

"KFC are a valued customer and we will provide them with a seamless return to our network."

A KFC spokesman said: "Our focus remains on ensuring our customers can enjoy our chicken without further disruption.

"With that in mind, the decision has been taken in conjunction with QSL and DHL to revert the distribution contract for up to 350 of our restaurants in the north of the UK back to Bidvest Logistics.

"We've been working hard to resolve the present situation with QSL and DHL.

"This decision will ease pressure at DHL's Rugby depot, to help get our restaurants back to normal as quickly as possible.

"As it stands, over 97 per cent of our 900 restaurants are now open for business, although there will be some limited menus before we are back to business as usual."

Additional reporting by Press Association