KFC hit with supply issues as UK stores run out of salt, cups and chicken boxes

Some KFC stores in the UK are operating on a reduced menu. Photo: PA
Some KFC stores in the UK are operating on a reduced menu. Photo: PA

KFC is the latest fast food chain to experience supply chain issues in its restaurants — this time with a shortage of paper takeaway bags, chicken boxes and cups as well as sauces and seasoning.

Several locations around the UK told Yahoo Finance UK they were experiencing issues with shortages of boxes to contain food, as well as cups, cup lids and paper bags for delivery items.

One restaurant in Norfolk said they were using emergency packaging, unbranded bags and different sized bags to normal.

They also said they were operating on a reduced menu — with several other locations also taking hot drinks and milkshakes off the menu.

Watch: McDonald’s runs out of milkshakes and bottled drinks in UK

These were put down to supply chain issues and delayed deliveries of products.

Another in Manchester also confirmed the supply crunch on packaging.

Other items cited as being in scarce supply elsewhere were salt sachets, cheese and sauces such as BBQ dip, ketchup and mayonnaise.

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The chain had issued a warning on its twitter on 11 August that said some menu items may become unavailable, and packaging may look "a little different to normal".

“As with so many other businesses across the country, recent disruption has meant some of our restaurants are facing a few shortages," said a KFC spokesperson. "Despite that, we’re still open and serving our iconic fried chicken – all thanks to our incredible team members. They’re doing a brilliant job keeping the fryers going, so please be kind to them.

"Our restaurants serve fresh, natural, quality chicken. If the recent disruption means that’s not delivered, some of our restaurants may need to make temporary changes to their menu.”

The supply chain issues come alongside those of McDonald's, which today said it has run out of milkshakes in all its UK restaurants.

"Like most retailers, we are currently experiencing some supply chain issues, impacting the availability of a small number of products," a McDonald's UK and Ireland spokesperson said in a statement.

Last week, Nando's was also forced to close 50 of its restaurants due to shortages of chicken and supply chain issues.

These issues are being felt across the sector. The Road Haulage Association (RHA) reported in July that there is a shortage of 100,000 drivers and warned the situation has reached a “crisis point” with critical supply chains failing.

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It said that many drivers have gone back to their home countries either due to uncertainty over new Brexit rules, or because of UK’s COVID-related lockdown restrictions. Many have not returned.

On top of this, HGV (heavy goods vehicle) drivers are made up of an ageing population that is retiring; and there is a major backlog of tests needed to be taken before drivers can qualify to operate lorries, because the tests were put on hold during the pandemic.

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