KFC are having chicken troubles

If you’re a fan of some fried chicken from ‘the colonel’ once in a while, then you may have heard about KFC’s recent debacle.

KFC customers, around the country, were met with signs on the door of their local KFC restaurants apologising because they had to close.

Customers were quick to hop on to social media to address the closures and express their feelings about not being able to get their fried chicken fix.

Many customers turn to social media in today’s world to make complaints or make negative comments about businesses because of how easy and quick it is to do.

As much as social media is used by angry customers to damage your brand, it can also be a useful tool for you to manage your reputation and limit any backlash you might receive when your customers are unhappy.

KFC have had a lot of this to deal with recently, as expected, but it seems to have handled its social media accounts very well to keep its audience well-informed and engaged with the KFC brand; despite the closures.

Here are a few lessons we can learn from the way KFC handled the social media backlash in the wake of ‘chicken-gate’.

Own it

It’s no use trying to brush past the issue because users will be quick to call you out on it.

KFC addressed the issue on its social media accounts explaining what was happening and why it had to close almost half of its restaurant across the UK.

Here is what KFC had to say

The company also made a list of all its restaurants that are still open so that customers were aware if their local stores were closed to help their customers and mitigate the frustration of turning up only to be disappointed.

So, if your company has done something wrong, apologise. Like with any relationship worth keeping, you need to acknowledge what you have done so that you can both move on.

Show that you care and explain that the company is doing its best to put it right.

Act Now

Don’t sit back and watch the chaos unfold. The time is now to reply to any negative comments that are made and join conversations with customers.

KFC released its statement on social media soon after the crisis began.

It was important for KFC to post this quickly on social media because this is a likely place for customers to go to for current updates about the brand.

Customers use social media to get their message out to the company they are disgruntled about because they deem it as the quickest way.

Don’t give other users a chance to fuel the fire. Get in there first.

State the facts

What do you know about the situation? Can you inform your customers of updates and progress on fixing the problem? If the answer is yes, then do it.

In crisis situations, there can be a lot of speculation from critics about what else could be happening behind the scenes. For example, KFC have been probed about issues relating to staff pay and food waste that could happen because of the crisis. KFC decided to address the rumours and give its audience the answers they wanted.

This is a great example of how KFC had control over the situation and was able to show its customers that it cares.

Make sure your business is addressing problems and rumours about the crisis. It is a great way to reassure your customers and maintain their trust.

Know your audience

This is important whenever you are posting any content on social media, but it is especially important if you are going through a crisis.

It is clear by going through KFC’s Twitter feed that it did exactly that. For any customers who seemed to be quite angry about the situation, KFC made a point of explaining that it has been doing everything it can to rectify the situation and tried to be as helpful as possible by sending customers to a page listing all KFC stores that are open.

However, any posts mocking the fried chicken restaurants were met with witty and humorous replies from its social media team – and its audience seemed to enjoy it.

KFC couldn’t resolve the issues it was having any quicker than it was already doing and they knew that. By making fun of the situation, its audience were able to see more of a personality behind the KFC brand.

This just shows that customer relationships can be made even stronger when a company is able to resolve its problems – sometimes even more so than if a problem wasn’t to occur.


Like KFC, every business has a need for a skilled crisis team in place for when problems occur.  

Set up a team and an action plan dedicated to crisis communications. It is now more important than ever to include social media in the action plan as more customers have access to social media accounts that they can use to communicate with your brand.

If you need a team behind you to manage your crisis communications, then give OlsenMetrix a call. Our team are experienced in this area and will know how to diffuse any problems with ease. Leave it to us.