It’s been a funny few weeks. We’ve had ‘The Beast from the East’, rail strikes, struggling retailers and of course, chickengate.
KFC running out of chicken wasn’t just a national disaster, it was international news – covered on Fox, USA Today, CNN and more. OK, it wasn’t a national disaster but according to the man who called 999 it was an emergency…
A chicken restaurant without any chicken sounds like the start of a joke. And when the shortages first started it looked like a joke that could backfire badly – almost 870 stores closed, unhappy customers, unhappy balance sheet.
But, their no excuses approach and a good dose of humour won them a lot of praise. As a marketing team they did a great job. The industry came out in force to complement their handling of the crisis. Their full page FCK ad went viral. They seemed calm in a crisis, managed the story and got the tone spot – perfect for their target audience.
However, humour can only take you so far. It’s now the 6th March and from reading their social feeds the problems aren’t over. Stores might be open but stock is low, they’re running a reduced menu and they’re nearly out of gravy. No seriously.
And what about their franchisees? Jokes might keep the public amused but if it’s your business that’s closed, your staff that aren’t being paid (KFC said staff would be paid but many have come out to say they’re on zero-hours contracts) and your tills that are empty, would a funny tweet or two really make it better?