KFC, also known as Kentucky Fried Chicken is undoubtedly one of the most dominant fast-food franchises all around the world. It has managed to establish its presence in over 140 countries with more than 22,000 locations globally. Established by Colonel Sanders in 1952, it has seen a lot of ups and downs before taking its spot as one of the largest fast-food restaurant chains. Known for its trademark secret ingredient of 11 herbs and spices, it is one of the most popular choices for chicken lovers.
However, there are many critical external and macro-environmental factors that influence and shape its growth and success. This PESTEL analysis of KFC will reveal a detailed description of each factor that plays a major role in KFC’s growth and future.
KFC Political Factors
One of the major political factors that influenced and shaped the fast-food franchise is its association with unhealthy food laden with high-calorie diet. From Kentucky Fried Chicken, the restaurant changed its name and identity to its abbreviation, KFC. This was done with the intent of dropping fried chicken from its name without having to undergo any major internal changes. Though this was a clever move from the franchisee, it has gone under fire by various nutritionists and campaigners as it capitalizes on the psychological vulnerability of most people.
Additionally, there has been a gradual rise of health-conscious individuals and campaigns against many fast-food chains and restaurants for promoting obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle.
KFC Economic Factors
Many fast-food restaurant chains are failing to generate sustainable profits. Again, one of the key reasons behind this is their association with an unhealthy lifestyle and diet. KFC has a menu mostly comprising of fried chicken which has a high calorie content and unhealthy fats. They have recently diversified their menu to include more vegetarian and vegan options. Though this is a welcome change to promote a more healthy approach to fast food, there is still a lot of work to be done to overcome its reputation of being unhealthy.
KFC is also known for its budget menu where people get high-value for their money. Paired with a steadily declining customer base, this is a major economic factor that plagues KFC’s growth.
KFC Social Factors
KFC, along with other popular fast food brands struggle with many social issues and problems. Paying employees a minimum wage is one of the top issues that associate a negative connotation to the brand. In spite of being a global brand with a presence in over 140 countries, employees in most outlets are paid minimum wage without any benefits or perks.
KFC is also under constant fire for using lucrative and suggestive advertisements to lure children and masses to their restaurants while slickly hiding the obvious health issues and risks that arise due to the consumption of fast food.
Additionally, KFC and other fast food giants also evoke a negative reaction as they endorse animal cruelty. The chicken in their facilities is loaded with hormones so as to retain more fat and muscle. Additionally, farms mistreat animals by packing them in unhygienic environments and facilities.
KFC Technological Factors
KFC has adopted many new technologies and changes to keep up with changing trends and preferences of customers. Most outlets today have a click and carry option where you can order your food before even reaching the outlet thus helping you save time in queues and lines.
Additionally, self-order kiosks, voice automated machines, and online platforms are some of the changes they have adopted to increase profits and sales. KFC has also increased its digital presence through better social media management and promotions.
KFC Environmental Factors
Being a giant in the fast-food restaurant industry with over 22,000 locations, it is no surprise that KFC is a major contributor to the environment. KFC’s paper supplier is linked in many cases with deforestation, destruction of wildlife, and endangering the environment.
Again, an increasing number of health-conscious individuals opt to turn away from KFC due to reasons like this. The restaurant needs to adopt more environmentally friendly practices to reduce waste and consumption.
KFC Legal Factors
As KFC operates in over 140 countries, complying with the local laws and regulations is one of the key factors in continuous success and operation. They have to adhere to the food and health quality guidelines and laws in order to avoid lawsuits and penalties.
There are numerous cases around the world where KFC has served low-quality or rotting foods to the customers that have invited a lot of negative publicity.
Concluding Pestel Analysis of KFC
Though these factors constantly change along with current trends, they each play a crucial role in the development and growth of KFC.
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