KFC branches across the U.K. have been forced to close after the chain’s newly appointed distributor, DHL, failed to bring its restaurants enough chicken.
When DHL was awarded the contract four months ago, they promised to “set a new delivery standard,” but a week after it came into effect, distribution issues have forced some branches to close, open for reduced hours, or offer an abbreviated menu. KFC has about 900 branches in the U.K., 80% of which are run by franchisees.
It’s unclear when the shops may be able to re-open. A “whistle-blower” from Bidvest, the former KFC distributor, told The Daily Star that the shortage is expected to continue and could cause more closures. The source also said that DHL was not prepared for the challenge of supplying chicken to all the KFC restaurants in the country.
KFC explained the supply disruption as “teething problems” on the part of their new distributor, reassuring patrons they were working to get the restaurants back up and running.
At the time of publication, 562 KFC restaurants in the U.K. were closed and 338 were open. A full list of open locations is being updated regularly on the KFC website.
A spokesperson for DHL told Fortune, “Due to operational issues a number of deliveries in recent days have been incomplete or delayed. We are working with KFC and our partners to rectify the situation as a priority and apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.”