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I have been to KFC many times in recent years, despite there not being many KFC restaurants near where I live. Every time I have loved the food, however until now I never felt the urge to write an opinion about KFC. Even when the Chain Restaurant Competition on Ciao was announced, I still didn’t feel inspired to write about KFC. So what has changed? Well, at the weekend for the first time me and my grandparents bought one of KFC’s famous Family ‘Bucket’ meals, although it wasn’t in a bucket, and I found this to be an interesting experience and very satisfying all round. So now I have done some research, and here goes – my first restaurant opinion. Enjoy.
KFC is a fast food chain restaurant that I believe is an American franchise in its origin. It is similar in concept to McDonald’s and Burger Kind, although it specialises in chicken. KFC is not located in enough locations for my liking, there are none in the main town I visit or in the main city I visit, but there are two KFC restaurants not too far away. They are based in various countries, I visited KFC in Spain once, for example.
Most people recognise KFC’s famous character – the Colonel. With a full name apparently of “Colonel Harland D. Sanders,” the Colonel is not only included on the instantly recognisable KFC logo, but there is now a carton version of him used in all recent advertisements for the KFC restaurants.
KFC have used several slogans, some of which include the colonel, such as “Let the colonel do the cooking,” and “Prepared to the Colonel’s original recipe.” However, the most famous and most widely used KFC slogan has to be “Nobody does chicken like KFC,” which is certainly true, as the eleven herbs and spices make the chicken at KFC second to none.
As far as TV advertisements are concerned, apart from the usual adverts informing the public about new products, such as Popcorn Chicken which is described later in this op, the adverts usually include the supposedly elderly colonel being very active – break-dancing and playing basketball are some of his usual tricks, although I’m not quite sure why.
Anyway, with the slogan, the logo and the Colonel, KFC make their established brand instantly recognisable to most people, so they therefore use very successful marketing. And one thing’s for sure; The Colonel’s definitely better than Ronald McDonald!
For me the service in KFC restaurants is the only real aspect that is a slight letdown. I cannot say this is true of all KFC restaurants as KFC runs as a franchise, so each restaurant is privately owned by a smaller company, however in the four or five different KFC restaurants I have visited the general impression I get is that they are busy and usually under-staffed. This results in long queues sometimes and the service is also slow at times. However, this isn’t always true as despite the fact that once I was waiting for over five minutes for some fries, another time I was served instantly, so the speed varies with the restaurant.
The KFC’s I have been to include one in Spain, which had pretty good service all-round, as well as one in Alton Towers – understandably too busy, and a couple in North Wales which are hit and miss, but usually fine. However if it is compared to McDonalds, the attractiveness and layout of KFC restaurants does not match McDonalds, which is very clean and attractive, however the same could be said of other rivals. For example, Burger King isn’t as nice as McDonalds in terms of the restaurant layout either, and KFC is hardly dirty or ugly, so that is not too much of a factor.
Overall I would say the service at KFC is usually fine although occasionally you may have to wait for a short while. However, the staff always seem to be good mannered, pleasant, and well informed.
Depending on what you select, you may be impressed or unimpressed, however some basic factors remain the same. The chicken is always very nice with a spicy coating. This is always whole chicken, never processed, and the coating includes eleven different herbs and spices. Mighty tasty! Whilst it is a bit spicy, it is pleasant and certainly not too hot to handle. I would certainly say that KFC chicken is the best fast food I have tasted, and arguably the nicest chicken I have tasted anywhere as they use real chicken with a spicy coating.
As far as the fries are concerned, I prefer McDonald’s but KFC’s are fine and I certainly didn’t mind eating two servings of KFC fries on Saturday night! Drinks available include Pepsi, 7-Up and the rest, and all of this is described in the menu section below.
In this section I aim to describe just about everything KFC have to offer, made easier by the fact that KFC have a small menu made from glossy paper in leaflet style, that can be taken by all visitors. The menu has colour pictures and includes everything there is to buy at KFC, except for one thing, one new meal that is one of my favourites:
Popcorn Chicken – Not included in the menu, this well-advertised product consists of a cardboard carton full of small, bite-size pieces of chicken coated with KFC’s original spicy recipe coating. Small or large cartons can come as a meal with chips & drink or on their own. Prices range from a small carton on its own at £1.99 to a large carton with fries and a drink for £3.99.
As well as this, there are tons of other selections available, which are as follows:
Original Recipe Meal – At 2.99 I must stress this meal doesn’t include a drink. You will get two of KFC’s gorgeous pieces of chicken, which can be a drumstick, a thigh, or whatever else they may serve, but always a large enough amount of chicken. You also get fries and a side (see below for sides). I have had this meal two or three times and love the original recipe chicken with its spicy coating, but be warned there may be some bones included.
Chicken Variety Meal – At 3.99 this is good for if you feel extra hungry. You get a drink (either Pepsi, 7 Up, Diet Pepsi or Tango), fries, 3 pieces of chicken (see above) and also a choice of either 1 Crispy Strip or 2 Hot Wings. Crispy Strips are my favourite – they have no bones and are simply gorgeous chicken that you can get at easily, again with a spicy coating, the closest thing you can get to a chicken-nugget type food at KFC, only much nicer. Having said that, at one time KFC offered Kentucky Dippers, which are like chicken nuggets. Anyway, Hot Wings are small chicken wings with spicy coating – not that much meat in them.
Two Burger Meals – the Fillet Burger Meal and the Zinger Burger meal include a whole breast of chicken with a spicy coating served in a big bun with lettuce and the usual other fillings, served with a drink and fries for 3.39. I believe Zinger is just a hotter, spicier version although I haven’t tried it.
Two tower meals – Similar to above except that Hash Brown and Cheese are included in the bun, and these meals – again Zinger or Fillet – will set you back 3.59.
Crispy Strips Meal – As described earlier, my favourite crispy strips have no bones and offer lots of chicken that is easy to get at, in a nice spicy coating, You will get 3 Strips, fries, drink and a dip for 3.39.
Twister Meal – This consists of two crispy strips in a wrap with salad and tangy mayo, served with drink and fries for 3.59. Also available now is the Zinger Twister.
Go Large - All of the above meals can have larger fries and drink for an extra 30p.
Dips - Also for 10p you can get dips, which include Mayonnaise, Sour Cream & Chives, Tomato Ketchup, Honey BBQ or Sweet & Sour.
Sides – available sides include Coleslaw, BBQ beans and corn cobettes, and also gravy.
As well, you can buy items such as pieces of chicken or Crispy Strips separately for much lower prices if you want a snack. Also there are many family meals as described below, and mentioned in my introduction.
Bargain Bucket – At 7.99 I think this, like all family meals except one, is aimed at 4 people although I am not sure, as this seems too little for four people. There are four regular fries, as well as six large pieces of chicken. Also you can add many extras including drinks for 99p. See below for extras.
Super Bargain Bucket – For 8.99 this offers 8 pieces of chicken with 4 regular fries, more appropriate for four people perhaps. Again extras cost 99p.
Mega Bucket – At 9.99 This gives you 10 pieces of chicken and 4 regular fries (this just keeps increasing).
Variety Combo – here we go, this is the great family meal that me and my grandparents – 3 people – ordered at the weekend. 6 pieces of chicken, 4 hot wings, 4 crispy strips, 4 regular fries, all for 9.99. Also for 99p we bought an extra – a 1.5 litre bottle of Pepsi! We took the whole meal home and ate in the living room, a great experience with a wide variety of food. All very filling, and I ended up eating two servings of fries, drinking moist of the Pepsi, and stealing all four crispy strips as well as some chicken pieces.
Bumper Bucket – This is great, although expensive. I’ve never had it though. It includes a massive 14 pieces of chicken with 6 regular fries for 12.99.
As well as all of these family meals, you can go large with 4 more pieces of chicken for £3 more. Or, you can pay 99p for extras, which include 2 large sides (see sides above), or 2 corn cobettes, or 3 hot wings, or 2 crispy strips (recommended), or a Wall’s Viennetta ice cream, or a 1.5 litre bottle of soft drink. They really do try to give you a complete meal, don’t they?
All in all I think the meals offer good value for money. Some prices may seem expensive for what is given, but the delicious chicken more than makes up for this fact. I seriously recommend a family meal too, it is a good experience with a variety of great foods, and you could even get ice cream and a bottle of drink to go round.
When you choose to take your meal out, you are given the usual napkins with the KFC logo on them, as well as wet wipes which I think are fantastic. These Cleaning tissues come in a small sealed pack and take the place of soap, water and towel as they will soon dry after you have washed your hands with them. Very useful, and a good idea in general I think. It is very good of them to supply these for free.
In conclusion, KFC offers gorgeous chicken with a wide variety of meal choices including great family meals, and the service is usually fine. Value for money is given, too, so the only real problem for me is that KFC is not very widely dispersed near where I live, so I can’t visit the restaurants often enough. I recommend KFC to anyone and everyone – you will not be disappointed. Oh by the way, if you don’t like chicken, forget it!
Phew! Thanks for reading - comments are welcome and appreciated.