Meet Tony Lowings, KFC CEO

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KFC is one of the most loved chicken brands in the UK and across the world. But who’s behind the incredibly successful fast food chain, you ask? Today we explore who the KFC CEO is and discuss some of the top similar franchise opportunities in the sector.

KFC has earned the title of one of world's largest and most popular fast food franchises. While we all know that the iconic Colonel Sanders discovered the finger-lickin’ blend of herbs and spices, not many people know who is running the influential brand now. Who is the KFC CEO?

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Who is KFC CEO, Tony Lowings?

  • The current CEO of KFC is Tony Lowings. He began his career at KFC in 1994, as a planning director. From there, he ran the KFC New South Wales market and, soon after, he landed the role of General Manager of KFC and Pizza Hut in Australia and New Zealand.
  • However, he soon experienced a real culture shock, as Yum! asked him to move to Miami to oversee the Latin American market for KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silvers and A&W. While the US wasn’t too far from home, working in South America required him to approach management in new and different ways.
  • Since then, he has held positions including Managing Director of Asia-Pacific and President and COO of KFC.

  • Tony Lowings’ 24-year history with Yum! Brands and his loyalty to the company has been rewarded with one of the organisation’s top roles. On the 1st January 2019, he took over as KFC CEO and led the fast food giant into a new era. Fortunately, Lowing’s history meant he was adequately prepared, having held a variety of positions before his time at the company.

tony lowings

What is KFC?

KFC was first introduced into Britain in 1965, with the first store opening in Preston. It has since expanded to over 890 locations. The UK KFC restaurants are at such an excellent standard that the UK is the training base for many of the new restaurants operating throughout Europe.

Over the past 10 years, its sales have almost doubled, now averaging over £1 billion a year. KFC strives to soon have over 1,000 stores selling delicious, succulent fried chicken in the UK.

KFC is a subsidiary of a parent company known as Yum! Brands. Yum! acquired the chicken business in 1997 and has run it alongside many other world-famous brands. These include Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. In fact, Yum! operates approximately 48,124 restaurants in more than 145 countries, making it the largest fast food restaurant company in the world by units.

As well as offering a diverse menu of tasty food, KFC is also keen to give back to the local community and have a positive impact on the economy. The KFC Add Hope foundation donates to charities that support vulnerable children’s educational development. The charity strives to help them achieve their potential in a supportive and nurturing environment.

Does KFC franchise?

Yes, KFC is a franchise. It has established a number of franchise partnerships since it entered the UK in 1965. KFC franchises come in different shapes and sizes in various locations, but all partners are ambitious to see the brand succeed and grow.

In the UK, KFC is 95 percent owned and operated by franchisees. This number is expected to rise to 98 percent. However, with this being said, the brand isn’t currently looking for new franchisees, but this doesn’t mean it won’t again in the future. We recommend checking its website here to see if the opportunity reopens.

Similar opportunities in the fried chicken restaurant industry

1. Franzos

Founded in 2012 as an alternative to the dominant piri-piri restaurant brand in the UK, this food franchise set its sights on becoming the go-to choice for delicious, freshly-cooked piri-piri chicken. Franzos is determined to challenge the market leaders and encourages interested franchisees to get in touch now to reserve a territory.

  • Becoming a Franzos franchisee: The ideal Franzos franchisee is someone with a can-do attitude and a good understanding of exceptional customer service. You should be a thoughtful manager in order to understand and attend to the personal and professional needs of staff. It is essential to be passionate about all things Franzos and respect the brand’s values and ethos. To learn more and sign up, click here.

  • How much you need to invest: Interested franchisees need to make a minimum investment of £150,000, including franchise fees of £17,500. The franchise suggests that the respected revenue after two years is £750,000.
  • What you get for your investment: Franzos offers in-store franchisee training spread over two weeks, assistance with the recruitment and training of staff, comprehensive business support and unique marketing campaigns to ensure that you can hit the ground running.

2. Chunky Chicken

This piri-piri chicken franchise is a rapidly expanding food service concept that offers dine-in, takeaway and delivery options across the UK.

  • Becoming a Chunky Chicken franchisee: Franchisees must buy ingredients and minor operating equipment from designated suppliers, safeguarding quality and conforming to operating standards. To learn more and sign up, click here.
  • How much you need to invest: The information regarding franchise costs and fees is not available online. However, you can head to the Chunky Chicken website and fill in the application form for more details.
  • What you get for your investment: New franchisees will attend a 12-16-week training programme that covers food preparation, hygiene and safety, ordering and inventory control, first aid, customer service, business principles and financial reporting.

3. Dixy Chicken

Born in 1986, this franchise is one of the fastest growing chicken restaurant chains in Europe, with over 100 outlets across the UK and worldwide. Dixy Chicken’s main offering is its crispy fried chicken, coated in a unique blend of spices, as well as grilled chicken and a variety of nutritious salads. This ensures the brand serves chicken that everyone can enjoy.

  • Becoming a Dixy Chicken franchisee: The ideal franchisee is anyone who strives for innovation, quality, big returns and strong international growth. To learn more and sign up, click here.

  • How much you need to invest: The minimum investment required for a Dixy Chicken franchise is around £120,000.
  • What you get for your investment: The Dixy Chicken management team goes above and beyond to support its franchisees, offering help with setting up the entire outlet, maintaining brand identity, marketing and the launch day.

Want to learn more?

If you want to find out more about some other fast food business CEOs, check out some from this list:

Alternatively, check out our top five chicken franchises in the UK.

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