Whether you refer to it as Kentucky Fried Chicken, KFC, or “That place with the old guy that sells the yummy chicken,” we all know one thing’s for sure: The food is finger lickin’ good.
But what else do you know about this international chain? We bet not so much. Read on to discover some pretty cool facts you might not have known about KFC:
It’s fourth in largest food chains in America.
KFC is the fourth-largest fast food restaurant chain by number of locations in the world. It has 20,604 locations and is behind only Subway (44,208), McDonald’s (36,889), and Starbucks (25,085).
But is China’s largest fast food chain.
There are more than 4,500 outlets in China.
It started as the only fast-food chicken.
Before KFC, fast food joints consisted of burgers, fries, and food of that nature. Fried chicken was something that, before KFC, was thought to take a long time to cook—AKA was only served family-style at sit-down restaurants. KFC revolutionized the fast-food industry by introducing their fried chicken.
It wasn’t Colonel Sanders who did all the hard work.
Colonel Sanders’ first franchisee was a burger joint Do Drop Inn, which a man named Pete Harman owned. After selling the chicken at his restaurant, Harman was actually the one came up with some of the KFC-isms we still see today, such as the bucket meal (created in 1957) and the motto (It’s finger lickin’good).
A painter thought of the name.
Pete Harman wanted to change the name of his restaurant so it was clear he now sold the best fried chicken ever. He was pondering this as a new sign was being painted for the restaurant. That painter, whose name was Don Anderson, came up with Kentucky Fried Chicken.
The recipe hasn’t changed since the 30s.
A blend of 11 herbs and spices.
…But recipe is a mystery to the public.
The only person who knows how to make the infamous chicken is Colonel Sanders himself. In fact, he signed a copy of his recipe, which is sitting nowhere else but a vault in the KFC headquarters in Louisville. Half of the mixture is made by Griffith Laboratories, and then it’s sent to McCormick, where the other half is made.
There are many theories on the recipe.
Many have tried to recreate the recipe, and one man claims it’s just flour, salt, pepper, and MSG. Others say they’ve reverse-engineered the recipe. But we’re pretty sure it’s what Harlan Sanders’ nephew, Joe Ledington, claims it to be after he found the recipe in a scrapbook: salt, black pepper, white pepper, thyme, basil, oregano, celery salt, dried mustard, paprika, garlic salt, and ground ginger. We’re about to go try this out! People say it tastes just like the infamous chicken.
The menu isn’t the same everywhere.
Some regions in the United States use sunflower oil, and some use soybean, canola, or palm oil. Some use corn-fed chicken and some use wheat-fed. Some places even serve chicken livers and gizzards (yum)! Outside the country, the menu also differs. For instance, you can get congee and tree fungus salad in China, spaghetti in Indonesia, and a chickpea burger in India.
Japan celebrates Christmas by eating KFC.
You know how some Jewish people eat Chinese food on Christmas? Well people in Japan eat KFC. But it’s not what you think—the chain usually goes all out, serving items like cake and champagne. Even Japan Airlines serves KFC on some flights around the Christmas season.
You might see a new payment system soon.
A location in China is currently testing out a new payment method where you can scan your face to pay. Pretty crazy!
If you want a KFC buffet, head to Japan.
The one and only all-you-can-eat KFC exists, but it’s located in Osaka, Japan. The cost is $16-$21 and you have an hour and a half to devour all the goods. Besides typical KFC food, there’s also eight ice cream flavors, croissants, lasagna, spaghetti, and more. Uhh, we’re booking our flights to Japan right now.
The buckets came later.
It wasn’t until 1957 when you could buy the bucket meals we all know and love today. I know, a world without bucket meals: what?! One of the first KFC franchisees came up with the bucket meal, which included 14 pieces of chicken, five bread rolls, and a pint of gravy.
Um, how badly do you want to go to KFC right now? Which one of these facts made you raise an eyebrow the most?