KFC: nobody does chicken like KFC

August 28, 2021

finger lickin’ good

There 3,984 KFC locations in the United States.

Kentucky Fried Chicken, known by its popular name as KFC, was founded by Harland Sanders in 1952 in Utah. It is an American fast-food restaurant chain headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky that specializes in fried chicken.

A bit about Harland Sanders

Sanders was born in 1890 and raised on a farm outside Henryville, Indiana (near Louisville, Kentucky).  When he was just five years old, his father died and his mother was forced to work at a canning plant to support herself and her children. Sanders, as the eldest son, was left to care for his two younger siblings. At the age of seven, his mother taught him how to cook.

In 1903, at the age of 13, Sanders left home and worked a variety of jobs. In 1939, he took over a Shell filling station at the edge of the Appalachian Mountains and it was here that he began serving the recipes that his mom had taught him: fried chicken, steaks and country ham. Sanders earned the honorary title of Kentucky Colonel which was given to him by Governor Ruby Laffoon. 

In July 1940, Harland created his unique and secret recipe with 11 herbs and spices. It was in 1952 that Sanders revealed his secret recipe to his friend Pete Harman and founded the first KFC.

KFC is the world’s second-largest restaurant, as measured by sales, after McDonalds. There are 22,621 locations globally in 150 countries as of December 2019.

KFC was one of the first American fast-food chains to expand internationally, opening outlets in Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Jamaica by the mid-1960s. It is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, a restaurant company that also owns the Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and WingStreet chains.

KFC popularized chicken in the fast-food industry, challenging the dominance of the ever-popular hamburger.

Known around the globe as “Colonel Sanders,” Harland became a prominent figure of American cultural history. His image continues to be widely used in KFC advertising.

In 1964, as Sanders aged, KFC’s rapid expansion began to overburden him, prompting him to sell it to a group of investors led by John Y. Brown Jr. and Jack C. Massey.

KFC generated a revenue of approximately 2.27 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. KFC headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, is a three-story colonial-style building known colloquially as the “White House” due to its resemblance to the US president’s home.

 Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

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