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KFC: The World’s Most Popular Chicken Restaurant Chain

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Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) being the world’s most popular chicken restaurant chain based in Louisville, Kentucky has been serving its original “finger lickin’ good” Kentucky Fried Chicken to its millions of customers in 109 countries around the world for almost 90 years.


How it started

Pioneered by a 40-year-old man with an exceptional skill and passion for cooking named Harland Sanders, KFC started in a service station in Corbin, Kentucky in 1930’s.  While operating the service station, Sanders began cooking for his customers, particularly those hungry travelers who stop in for gas. Since he didn’t have his own restaurant yet, his customers eat from his own dining table found at the station’s quarters.


In 1935, as Sander’s fame grew among the people, he was appointed as Kentucky Colonel by Governor Ruby Laffoon in recognition of his contribution to the state’s cuisine.


As more and more people demand for his cooking, Sanders decided to move across the street to increase his capacity. It was in 1939, when he was able to perfect his original and secret blend of 11 herbs and spices for his chicken. And after the Colonel found the quickest way of frying the chicken by  using a pressure cooker rather than an iron skillet, he was able to come up with the best chicken that he ever tasted, and the “Kentucky Fried Chicken” that we all know was born.


KFC around the globe

In 1955, Sanders devoted himself in developing his franchising business and during this time, KFC Corporation was established. In less than a decade, his franchise grew more than 600 in U.S. and Canada. KFC Corporation grew rapidly and went public in 1966 after Sanders decided to sell it to a group of investors in 1964. In 1997, it became an independent restaurant company known as Tricon Global Restaurants Inc. after being spun-off by PepsiCo. in 1986. Now, the company is known as YUM! Brands Inc. and holds the title of being the world’s largest restaurant company in terms of system restaurants with more than 36,000 locations around the world.


How about the secret recipe?

For years, the secret recipe of Sanders is protected in a safe in Louisville, Kentucky. Only a few and trusted people know this “secret” recipe and it is kept in confidentiality by contract. Nowadays, the secret recipe goes with technological innovation. It was protected by strict security measures in which one spice company blends a portion of the recipe’s formula and the other company blends the remainder. To ensure the recipe’s full protection, a computer processing system is used to standardize the blends and to guarantee that neither of the spice companies know the complete recipe.


KFC in the Philippines

KFC was introduced in the country in 1967 and during that time, KFC was managed by different franchisers. It was in June 1997 when Manuel U. Augustines obtained the sole franchise of the sales and distribution of KFC Philippines. KFC Philippines is a part of the YUM! Restaurants Inc. and is under the corporate name of Quick Service Restaurants (QSR).  Nowadays, KFC continues to grow in the country with more than 150 outlets across the nation.


KFC at UST

From Louisville, Kentucky, to the Philippine archipelago and down to the University of Santo Tomas, KFC has been serving the Thomasians its original chicken recipe since its establishment in the university’s car park on December 27, 1995.


It is no doubt that this secret recipe of KFC is loved and will be loved even more by millions of people around the world, including us Filipinos, the rest of the Thomasian community and even the next generations – for this Kentucky Fried Chicken is really “finger lickin’ good!”-Marie Angeline M. Pagulayan.

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