KFC outlets will be closed for the rest of the week as chicken shortage continues
KFC expects disruption to some restaurants to continue for the rest of the week after a new delivery contract with DHL sparked chicken shortages across the country.
More than 500 of the chain's nearly 900 stores are still closed, while many of those that are open are offering limited menus or have cut their hours. Only two KFC outlets in Leeds are still trading.
A KFC spokesman said: "We anticipate the number of closures will reduce today and over the coming days as our teams work flat out all hours to clear the backlog.
"Each day more deliveries are being made; however, we expect the disruption to some restaurants to continue over the remainder of the week, meaning some will be closed and others operating with a reduced menu or shortened hours."
KFC said staff on short-term contacts working in restaurants owned by the chain would be paid the average hours worked per day over the past 12 weeks, while those on salaries would be paid as normal.
However, 80 per cent of KFC outlets are run on a franchise basis.
"Franchisees will be seeking their own independent advice, but we're encouraging them to adopt this policy too," said the chain.
The closures were the result of delayed chicken deliveries by DHL, which announced in November that it had been appointed alongside QSL to manage the supply and distribution of food products and packaging for more than 850 KFC restaurants throughout the UK.
"Due to operational issues a number of deliveries in recent days have been incomplete or delayed," DHL said in a statement.
"We are working with KFC and our partners to rectify the situation as a priority and apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused."
KFC was previously a client of Bidvest Logistics.
The chicken chain detailed the problems in an earlier statement, which said: "We've brought a new delivery partner on board, but they've had a couple of teething problems - getting fresh chicken out to 900 restaurants across the country is pretty complex!"
"We won't compromise on quality, so no deliveries has meant some of our restaurants are closed and others are operating a limited menu, or shortened hours," the company added.
"We know that this might have inconvenienced some of you over the last few days, and disappointed you when you wanted your fried chicken fix - we're really sorry about that."