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KFC shuts down more stores amid chicken delivery fiasco

 


KFC closed more restaurants on Tuesday, days after "teething problems" with a new delivery contractor meant it ran out of chicken.

The fast-food chain's website said in a mid-morning update that just over 250 of its nearly 900 restaurants in the UK and Ireland (Other OTC: IRLD - news) were open, compared to about 320 the evening before.

However there was confusion when, slightly earlier - and apparently due to a glitch - it had said that just three sites - in Glasgow, Hereford, and Luton - were up and running as of 11am.

KFC has said it is working "flat out" to reopen stores after problems with deliveries on Friday and over the weekend, but added that some disruption will continue.

A KFC spokesperson said: "We anticipate the number of closures will reduce today and over the coming days as our teams work flat out all hours to clear the backlog.

"Each day more deliveries are being made, however, we expect the disruption to some restaurants to continue over the remainder of the week, meaning some will be closed and others operating with a reduced menu or shortened hours."

By Monday lunchtime just 80 were listed as open, though the number increased to more than 300 by later that day.

Customers voiced their frustration on social media, with stories of children crying as they missed out on a treat.

Staff have also had to change their plans.

The chain said that where possible, they would be "redeployed onto alternative tasks or to other restaurants that remain open".

It added that where possible it was encouraging team members to take holiday though not forcing them.

Salaried employees will be paid as normal, while others on short term contracts will be paid the average hours worked per day over the last 12 weeks, the company said.

KFC said it was encouraging franchisees to adopt the same policies despite operating their own contracts of employment.

The fast-food chain last week switched its delivery contract from Bidvest to DHL.

In a light-hearted statement on its website informing consumers about the problems, the restaurant said: "The chicken crossed the road, just not to our restaurants."

DHL said on Monday: "Due to operational issues a number of deliveries in recent days have been incomplete or delayed."

The company has said it was working "to rectify the situation as a priority and apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused".