KFC returns to previous supplier after widespread chicken shortages

KFC in the U.K. has returned to its old distributor after experiencing a widespread chicken shortage.

The fast-food chain was forced to close hundreds of restaurants last month after switching from Bidvest to DHL, which blamed “operational issues” at a warehouse for the lack of deliveries.

But after outrage from customers over the blunder, the chicken chain has signed a new agreement with Bidvest, its original distribution partner, to supply up to 350 of its 900 restaurants across the U.K. and Ireland, BBC reports.

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KFC switched to DHL on Feb. 13, but the transition didn’t go as planned. The restaurant issued a cheeky apology to customers angered by the lack of chicken.

"A chicken restaurant without any chicken. It's not ideal,” the ad reads. “Huge apologies to our customers, especially those who travelled out of their way to find we were closed. And endless thanks to our KFC team members and our franchise partners for working tirelessly to improve the situation. It's been a hell of a week, but we're making progress, and every day more and more fresh chicken is being delivered to our restaurants. Thank you for bearing with us."

The restaurant sent out a tweet saying that 95 percent of its locations were back up and running as of Feb. 26, though menus were still limited as the company transitions back to Bidvest.

"Our focus remains on ensuring our customers can enjoy our chicken without further disruption," a KFC spokesperson told the BBC.

"We've been working hard to resolve the present situation with QSL [which developed the software used by DHL] and DHL. This decision will ease pressure at DHL's Rugby depot, to help get our restaurants back to normal as quickly as possible."

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Bidvest is “delighted” to resume business with KFC, according to spokesman Paul Whyte. "KFC are a valued customer and we will provide them with a seamless return to our network," he told BBC.