KFC has closed more of its outlets in the UK after delivery problems meant it ran out of chicken.
Its website shows that 575 of the fast-food chain’s 900 outlets in the UK and the Republic of Ireland were shut as of 21:00 on Monday night.
That compares with 562 that were closed at 15:45 on Monday.
Last week, the fried chicken chain switched its delivery contract to DHL, which has blamed “operational issues” for the supply disruption.
It is not yet clear how many outlets will open for business later on Tuesday.
A spokesman for the firm said it was too early to tell how long the problems would persist.
Workers are being encouraged to take holiday, but would not be forced to do so, he added.
“Our teams are working flat out all hours to get the rest back up and running as soon as possible – but it’s too early to say how long it will take to clear the backlog.”
KFC has set up a web page where “fans” can find their nearest outlet that is still open.
It said that in the restaurants owned by the chain, staff on short-term contracts 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% 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.
Until last Tuesday, KFC’s chicken was delivered by South African-owned distribution group Bidvest, which describes itself as “the leading supplier of logistical and supply chain solutions to the UK hospitality and restaurant sector”.
But after the change in the contract, many of the food giant’s outlets began running out of chicken products.
The GMB union said it had tried to warn KFC that switching from Bidvest to DHL was a mistake. The change led to 255 job losses and the closure of a Bidvest depot, said Mick Rix, GMB national officer.
He said: “Bidvest are specialists – a food distribution firm with years of experience. DHL are scratching around for any work they can get, and undercut them.
“KFC are left with hundreds of restaurants closed while DHL try and run the whole operation out of one distribution centre. Three weeks ago, KFC knew they had made a terrible mistake, but by then it was too late.”
The distribution network uses software developed by the firm Quick Service Logistics (QSL).
DHL said: “Due to operational issues, a number of deliveries in recent days have been incomplete or delayed. We are working with our partners, KFC and QSL, to rectify the situation as a priority and apologise for any inconvenience.”
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Source: BBC News