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Top Fast Food Stories You Never Knew

By Edited Mar 28, 2014 0 1

New KFC Bucket
Credit: KFC Australia

Wendy's Famous Bucket?

We all associate Dave Thomas, the late founder of Wendy's with his burger chain, but Dave Thomas also created another restaurant icon - the KFC paper bucket and the giant rotating KFC bucket signs over restaurants.  

Before he started Wendy's and named it after his daughter, Thomas was originally a Columbus, Ohio franchisee of the original Kentucky Fried Chicken. His idea was that the paper bucket would help keep the chicken crisp by wicking away excess moisture. The sign was a promotional idea that took off, much like Dave's burger joints.

Logo Visible from Space

 KFC claimed to have made the first logo visible from outer space in 2006.  KFC said "It marked the official debut of a massive global re-image campaign that will contemporize 14,000-plus KFC restaurants in over 80 countries over the next few years." KFC built their massive logo with 65,000 one-foot-square tiles on the Mojave Desert near Rachel, Nevada.  It took six days on site to build at 37.6460°N 115.7507°W and is strategically located just off the extraterrestrial highway. Is KFC running out of places on earth to build chicken shops?  Maybe they are trying to franchise to Mars?

Lee's Famous Recipe and KFC's Secret Recipe Are Related  

Lee Cummings, the founder of Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken was the nephew of Colonel Harland Sanders (founder of KFC),  Lee hit the road with his uncle Harland in 1952, selling their own special blend of spices along with their famous pressure cookers, which later became part of KFC's "Secret Recipe". In three years, Lee and the Colonel opened over 800 KFC stores before the Colonel sold out in 1962.

Lee Cummings started developing (or maybe modified what had already been proven successful)  his recipe, later dubbed the "Famous Recipe" and parlayed that into another chain of fried chicken joints. 

How to Eat for Free at Nando's for Life

South African based Nando's will allow anyone to eat free for life if they can prove they have been to all the Nando's restaurants. This could be a serious job that may cure you of ever wanting to grace a Nando's ever again, free food or not because Nando's has locations in a few countries...Australia,Bangladesh, Bahrain, Botswana,Canada,Cyprus,Fiji,India,Ireland,Kenya,Kuwait,Lebanon,Lesotho,Malawi,Malaysia, Mauritius,Namibia,New Zealand,Nigeria, Oman,Pakistan,Qatar,Singapore, South Africa, Swaziland, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Better get out that frequent flyer card first if you want to get the lifetime pass to free chicken. 

Menu Engineering

There is a whole science to steering customers toward the most profitable dishes on the menu.  It involves: 

  • Psychology (perception, attention, emotion/effect)
  • Managerial Accounting (contribution margin and unit cost analysis)
  • Marketing & Strategy (pricing, promotion)
  • Graphic Design (layout, typography)
  • The placement of items on a menu can heavily influence what people order (the 1st and last items on the page are supposed to be the big sellers).  The presence of $ signs make people spend less. Color, fonts, ingredient descriptions and price points can all be used to influence customers to order items that are more profitable to the store. So next time McDonalds mixes up the order of the menu, remember your fast food order is being menu engineered for you.



    Mar 28, 2012 9:35am
    Very interesting fast food stories.
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