Society for Case Research MBAA 2020

Experience level: 
Intended Audience: 
Joyce A. Young, Kuntal Bhattacharyya

No Chicken at KFC: A Logistics Debacle?

This critical incident describes a business decision faced by Meghan Farren, Chief Marketing Officer for KFC in the United Kingdom. When she had learned of the missed chicken deliveries to several restaurant locations, it originally surfaced as a delay caused by traffic backup from two accidents near Rugby, Warwickshire. That same morning, DHL had launched its new delivery service for KFC becoming the restaurant chain’s sole logistics provider for UK and Ireland. Several days later, however, a major crisis was evident and the twelve hour transportation delay was not the culprit. Approximately 800 of its 870 KFC locations had been forced to close their doors having run out of chicken and remained closed. For Meghan Farren, the ongoing supply crisis could cripple the chain and damage the relationship with its franchisees which operated the vast majority of all KFC units. Students are asked to decide what course of action Meghan Farren should take to quickly mitigate the financial damage to the franchisees and reassure them that the logistics problem, once resolved, would not resurface again.