Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is a well known restaurant in the world. It is rated at number 60 in the world best known brands BusinessWeek (McDonald's in the number 9 and Nescafe, 23).
Its history spans nearly 80 years when it started to Corbin (Kentucky, USA), in the 1930's. During this period the U. S. was under the Great Depression with nearly 25% unemployment rate. The hard time was probably one of the biggest factors in forcing Harland Sanders ( “The Colonel") to start experimenting with various mixes of spices and herbs, trying to get the best formula for your recipe. (If you still remember the 1997-2002 economic collapse in Asia, one of the last business that kept going during the recession was the food industry).
In 1939, and the recipe is perfected and the Colonel had expanded his restaurant to accommodate 142 seats. It was a fairy large restaurant, the size is equivalent to several tennis courts.
However there was a problem. The waiting time! It took almost 30 minutes for chicken cooked properly. Turn the gas bigger and you risk of having chicken cooked on the outside but still red with blood inside.
Saved by a pressure cooker
Thanks to technology, in 1939 pressure cooker was introduced. Olla pressure to allow liquid boils at higher temperature. Water for example normally boils at 100 degrees centigrade, but a pressure cooker with the lid sealed not allow air or liquid to escape and allow the water boils at more than 125 celcius.
This significantly shortens the time for cooking and as added bonus, nutrients (hence the flavor) kept making food more delicious. Since the boiling point is much higher, this also kill germs and make more food last longer.
It should be noted that Colonel spotted the technique of cooking pressure just weeks after being introduced. That means always looking for ways to improve the taste and the time it takes to cook the famous Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Average time for money.
Every minute saved means less waiting time and more satisfaction to customers. This will also foster a first time buyer to become repeat customers.
The colonel also is a smart guy. He can read the writing on the wall. In early 1950, after hearing rumours that an interstate highway will be built without going through their city. This could have a devastating effect on its business. At present, is probably under serious dilemma. When the Interstate was finally inaugurated in 1955, which caused a huge traffic being diverted away from their city.
Possessing a large percentage in a small village VS owning a small percentage in a great country.
Upon seeing an end to his professional activity, Colonel auctioned off its operations. Confident with the quality of its fried chicken, Colonel began traveling from town to town franchise your recipe. He visited countless restaurants, promoting his recipe for fried chicken owner and workers.
The first franchise was awarded to Pete Harman in Salt Lake City. A handshake agreement stipulates a payment of a nickel for each chicken sold by colonel. This is one of the true strength of the franchise system. It provides a flow of money but the amount is very small initially.
Building a franchise network is like building a pipeline for the flow of money for you. At first, the cost is enormous because you have to configure the infrastructure, digging the earth, linking pipelines, bypassing obstacles, etc. In the beginning the volume of water flow (money) in his pipe is also grim.
After several years of hard work, effort will begin to bear fruit. A penny, one penny, ten cents of this city, a hundred cents of that city, a thousand pennies this district, ten thousand coins that state and that happens every day! In a short time began to make a huge impact on their income.
The secret KFC recipe: Does it matter?
It is an open secret that KFC is made of a blend of 11 herbs and spices. The use of modern spectrometer, can Colonel explosion of spices with X-ray photoelectron or burn them with a specially designed gas and studying the outcome.
With a database of the results achieved similar technique using all the spices and herbs known to mankind, it would take a few weeks before we could identify the exact names and percentage of 11 spices. But does it matter? Is it really important to know the exact names and compositions of spices?
An average employer might think the secret recipe is so valuable and willing to pay millions for a copy.
A genius employer not to pay even a penny!
It is the franchise system, not the recipe spices.
Has been a night market ( “pass Malam") and tried fried chicken sold by street vendors? Have you ever been to a small restaurant or a foodstall and discovered that fried chicken is so crisp and delicious?
Then they wonder why this small businessman yet made a fortune off his “secret recipe"!
The next time you visited the restaurant again, did you notice that -
* Sometimes there was no one to take orders
* Sometimes closes properly without giving a warning in advance
* Sometimes the table was in a mess and nobody to clean, even after 5 minutes you were seated.
* Sometimes the toilet is dirty and full choke with food waste.
* Sometimes fried chicken is overcooked, and at other times is enough.
* Sometimes fried chicken is too hot and other times not so spicy.
What is the point?
The “secret recipe" represent only a small percentage of success of the KFC franchise. If I had to give a percentage, may not represent more than 20% of total success.
The success is due to the franchise system!
In a franchise system, everything is documented and there are strict rules for the operation of the company. For example: -
* The chicken should be cooked in a pressure cooker and left for 15 minutes
* The size of each side of chicken should at least 8 cm wide and 300 grams of weight
* The chicken should be marinated overnight
* The age when they were slaughtered chicken must be between 60-70 days
* The minimum size of the restaurant should be 24×60 feet
* The color of the logo, the chair and table must be yellow and the floor is dark gray.
* The toilet must be cleaned every 3 hours.
* The sink should be cleaned every 30 minutes
* The windows should be cleaned every morning
* Food left unsold after 15 minutes should be discarded.
* The worker must bear the company shirt and trousers. No jeans, corduroy or leather.
* 5% of gross proceeds must be used for local advertising
* 1% of gross proceeds must be used for national advertising
* 3% should be used for R & D to develop new recipes and local brand.
* The food must also be offered discounts on packages (eg 2 chicken, fried 1, 1 glass of Pepsi)
* The food can be ordered separately / “ala carte", but does not apply discount.
* The restaurant must have air conditioning.
* Etc. . etc. .
This long list of standard operating procedures is really the key to the success of the franchise. The long list is actually a cumulative wisdom and know-how the franchise system has been developed after a couple of decades of operation.
Francis Pandisal writes for http://www.newfranchises.org where you can find out more about Franchise .