Q&A: Does KFC Franchise in the UK?

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Ever dreamed of running your own fried chicken business? KFC is one of the world’s most famous fast food brands, and probably the most well-known chicken takeaway chain. Here, we’re finding out whether there are any KFC franchise opportunities.

KFC, short for Kentucky Fried Chicken, has a huge level of brand awareness across the globe. There are more than 20,000 stores worldwide, and 850 in the UK. Its business model has proven immensely successful, so it’s no wonder savvy entrepreneurs are keen to find out whether they can get in on the action.

Does KFC franchise?

Yes - in fact, KFC is one of the biggest franchises on the planet. Since 1965, it’s been working closely with its franchisees, who make up 95 percent of the UK’s KFC network, while the remaining five percent of outlets are company owned. 

KFC values its franchisees highly and it plans to increase the proportion of franchisee-run stores to 98 percent in the coming years. 

History of KFC

KFC has one of the most well-documented success stories of any fast food franchise. Starting back in the 1920s, the famous Harland Sanders began to think about setting up his own food business. He’d worked as a fireman, a ferry boat pilot and a lawyer, and even joined the army, but never found his calling. 

In 1930, Harland set up a stopover on the highway and sold meals for passing drivers. It wasn’t until 1935 that he gained the title he’s famous for today, after the State of Kentucky made him an honorary Colonel. 

At the start of the 1950s, customers first saw the debut of Colonel Sanders’ white suit and black string tie. And two years later, the friendly entrepreneur decided to use the franchise model to expand his business. 

The very first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise unit was launched in 1952 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and it didn’t take long for word to spread about KFC’s delicious chicken. Soon, the Colonel was able to quickly set up additional franchise businesses across the US. 

Today, KFC has established over 20,000 branches in 118 countries, all of which sell the franchise’s famous chicken, made with the Colonel’s Original Recipe of 11 herbs and spices. 

In the UK, KFC has reached such a high standard the franchise has chosen to train many of its European franchisees here. 

The KFC franchise is part of the Kentucky-based parent company Yum! Brands, which also owns Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Across the globe, it has a network of more than 44,000 restaurants in 135 countries and territories, so it’s a leader in the quick service industry. On average, the company launches more than six new restaurants a day. 

KFC itself has doubled its sales over the past decade, and now contributes roughly £500 million across its supply chain to the UK economy alone. 

Starting a KFC franchise unit

KFC outlets come in all shapes and sizes, and investors can choose between four different store formats when they join the chicken franchise. 

The Drive-Thru is one of the options for sites of over 0.3 acres. Investors must be able to find a location with at least 20 parking spaces or a shared car park nearby. For smaller footprints, the Small Box model works well. It requires a 1,000-square-foot site in major towns and cities. 

Alternatively, investors can set up a full KFC Restaurant in 2,000-square-foot properties, allowing for a kitchen and seating area. Many restaurants also have a basement or mezzanine level. Finally, a Food Court is the ideal choice for locations like shopping centres and major transport interchanges, where consumers can buy food to eat on the go. 

As a KFC franchisee, you’ll get the opportunity to make a real difference in your community, thanks to the fast food franchise’s various charity partnerships and donations schemes. 

Becoming a KFC franchisee: 

KFC is looking for people with experience in the hospitality industry and knowledge of the food and beverage sector. Investors should also be “business-oriented, people-skilled and success-driven”. 

How much you need to invest: 

You’ll need around £5 million in assets, £2 million of which should be liquid. The initial investment will be between £1 million and £2 million, and covers the property, construction and renovation, start-up inventory, licences and training. 

What you get for your investment: 

KFC runs a comprehensive training programme for franchisees and their managers and employees to make sure everyone in your business has the tools and knowledge to work efficiently. The coaching scheme lasts for around seven weeks, with eight to 10 hours of teaching time per day. 

Franchisees are also able to access KFC’s online Learning Zone, which has courses for each job role in a restaurant. Investors are even given the chance to take part in training programmes through the business’s partners. The YUM Funding Financing Programme, the YUM Minority Lending Assistance Programme and the Wells Fargo Equipment Financing Programme are all open to KFC franchisees.

Join KFC today 

The franchise industry is home to a huge variety of fast food chains, so there’s plenty of choice for budding entrepreneurs who are interested in launching a quick service restaurant. KFC is one of the UK’s most famous chains in the industry, and offers a fantastic level of support for its franchisees and employees. 

You can find additional information on joining the KFC franchise by visiting its profile here at Point Franchise or heading to its franchising webpage. 

To learn more about opportunities when it comes to running your own business in the fast food sector, you can browse our full selection of quick service restaurants. Or see the options in the wider food industry, from food stall chains to delivery franchises. 

>> Read more articles on the Food and Beverage sector

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