KFC Corporation (KFC), founded and also known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, is a chain of fast food restaurants based in Louisville, Kentucky, in the United States. KFC has been a brand and operating segment, termed a concept of Yum! Brands since 1997 when that company was spun off from PepsiCo as Tricon Global Restaurants Inc.
KFC primarily sells chicken pieces, wraps, salads and sandwiches. While its primary focus is fried chicken, KFC also offers a line of grilled and roasted chicken products, side dishes and desserts. Outside North America, KFC offers beef based products such as hamburgers or kebabs, pork based products such as ribs and other regional fare.
The company was founded as Kentucky Fried Chicken by Colonel Harland Sanders in 1952, though the idea of KFC's fried chicken actually goes back to 1930. The company adopted the abbreviated form of its name in 1991. Starting in April 2007, the company began using its original name, Kentucky Fried Chicken, for its signage, packaging and advertisements in the U.S. as part of a new corporate re-branding program; newer and remodeled restaurants will have the new logo and name while older stores will continue to use the 1980s signage. Additionally, Yum! continues to use the abbreviated name freely in its advertising.
Born and raised in Henryville, Indiana, Sanders passed through several professions in his lifetime. Sanders first served his fried chicken in 1930 in the midst of the Great Depression at a gas station he owned in North Corbin, Kentucky. The dining area was named "Sanders Court & Café" and was so successful that in 1936 Kentucky Governor Ruby Laffoon granted Sanders the title of honorary Kentucky Colonel in recognition of his contribution to the state's cuisine. The following year Sanders expanded his restaurant to 142 seats, and added a motel he bought across the street. When Sanders prepared his chicken in his original restaurant in North Corbin, he prepared the chicken in an iron skillet, which took about 30 minutes to do, too long for a restaurant operation. In 1939, Sanders altered the cooking process for his fried chicken to use a pressure fryer, resulting in a greatly reduced cooking time comparable to that of deep frying. In 1940 Sanders devised what came to be known as his Original Recipe.
The Sanders Court & Café generally served travelers, often those headed to Florida, so when the route planned in the 1950s for what would become Interstate 75 bypassed Corbin, he sold his properties and traveled the U.S. to sell his chicken to restaurant owners. The first to take him up on the offer was Pete Harman in South Salt Lake, Utah; together, they opened the first "Kentucky Fried Chicken" outlet in 1952. By the early 1960s, Kentucky Fried Chicken was sold in over 600 franchised outlets in both the United States and Canada. One of the longest-lived franchisees of the older Col. Sanders' chicken concept, as opposed to the KFC chain, was the Kenny Kings chain. The company owned many Northern Ohio diner-style restaurants, the last of which closed in 2004.
Sanders sold the entire KFC franchising operation in 1964 for $2 million USD, equal to $14,161,464 today Since that time, the chain has been sold three more times: to Heublein in 1971, to R.J. Reynolds in 1982 and most recently to PepsiCo in 1986, which made it part of its Tricon Global Restaurants division, which in turn was spun off in 1997, and has now been renamed to Yum! Brands. Additionally, Colonel Sanders' nephew, Lee Cummings, took his own Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise
Long Run Growth/ Decline
Fast food franchising was still in its infancy in 1954 when Harland Sandlers begun his travels across the United States to speak with prospective franchises about his “colonel” sanders recipe Kentucky fried chicken”. By 1960 “colonel” Sandlers had granted KFC franchise to over 200...