KFC Faces Chicken Shortage Following Supply Chain Issues

KFC may be known across the globe for their finger lickin' good chicken, but that chicken is in threat of disappearing from the menu. Colonel Sanders has been forced to remove several items from the menu at KFC locations across Australia as the beloved fast food chain faces a chicken shortage, the latest example of the impacts of ongoing supply chain issues amid the pandemic.

Australians headed to their local KFC restaurants have been greeted with signs reading, "due to supplier issues, we have no original chicken, zingers, fillets or wings. Please refer to sold-out stickers for available items," and other postages warning of items no longer available due to a chicken shortage, according to local outlet 7 News. KFC Australia even issued a statement on their website, apologizing to guests for the disruption and explaining that "like many businesses across Australia, our supply chain & workforce has been impacted by COVID-19. Rest assured we're doing all we can to get back to fryin' everyone's faves as soon as possible. This isn't the way we wanted to start the year, please be kind to each other, and our staff as they do their best to provide the chicken we all love."

A spokesperson confirmed that restaurants had been forced to offer a "reduced menu" in a statement to 7 News, sharing that "unfortunately our supply chain has been disrupted, and some of our restaurants will be offering a reduced menu." Apologizing "or any issues this causes our customers," KFC vowed that they are "doing everything we can to help our suppliers get back on track." In a separate statement to CNN Business, a spokesperson said the restaurant chain is "working with our multiple suppliers to mitigate the impact and provide them with support, but we expect some disruptions to continue in the coming weeks."

KFC did not specify which menu items were affected or when the menus would possibly return to normal. CNN Business noted that Australian poultry processor Ingham's, which has a partnership with KFC, announced that it was "experiencing significantly lower levels of staff availability, which is impacting production volumes and operational efficiency."

The KFC chicken shortage is just the latest supply chain shortage to affect a major fast food restaurant chain amid the ongoing supply chain issues. In December, McDonald's Japan was forced to ration the sale of french fries due to a potato shortage. Although the rationing was only supposed to last through Dec. 30, it has continued, with McDonald's Japan forced to stop selling medium and large portions of fries nationwide through January. The potato shortage is due to impacts on the supply chain caused by flooding near the Port of Vancouver in Canada.