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FROM THE KITCHEN TO THE BUCKET

KKFC’s scrumptious chicken has people wanting more

Text by Sajeet M. Rajbhandari Starting out as one teenager’s failed attempt at making a tasty supper; KKFC is making big waves in the Nepali food industry. Crispy, juicy and delicious Krispy Krunchy Fried Chicken’s carnivore menu has become a favourite for Nepali bellies. From Krispy Hot Wings to robot waiters, here’s how KKFC is taking over the domestic fast food scene and our taste buds.

The inception

KKFC has its beginnings in 2012 when a young Amar Shah made an unsuccessful attempt at preparing crispy chicken.“It actually started from wanting to cook for myself” says Amar who is also the CEO of KKFC. Shah claims that the restaurant and food scene has been pretty dull in Nepal. According to him, nobody really revolutionised anything and were stuck with the same old gas stove, small kitchen restaurant that couldn’t really handle a big workforce. People lacked the knowledge to run a proper food business, and even if they had the knowledge, no one really implemented anything different.

“There are separate ways of storing different types of food, and different items from the menu taste the best at specific temperatures; these are little things that make a great difference in the standard of the food which is served.” Shah says passionately. It is these little things that differentiate the Nepali food businesses from international food franchises; Shah got to experience this difference when he had the opportunity to work at international fast food chains such as McDonald’s and Hungry Jack’s. In fact, Shah’s time abroad proved essential to setting up the first outlet of his very own fast food franchise here in Nepal.

With the same values and skills set, Shah opened doors to Krispy Krunchy Fried Chicken at People’s plaza in November 2017. Ever since, the brand has been working its way up the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) ladder all the while getting consumers to come back over and over again for another bite of their delicious crispy chicken.

The KKFC factor

What makes KKFC, KKFC? When asked this question, Shah boldly claims that KKFC is unlike any other fried chicken store in Nepal. With fried chicken restaurants springing up like mushrooms all over the valley, KKFC understands that it needs to be more than just a restaurant to stay relevant in today’s unforgiving market. The KKFC team realises that consumers now are more product savvy than before and are loyal not to the brand but only to the product. To stay at the top of the game, KKFC focuses not only on providing tasty food, but also on hygiene, quality, service and consistency.
To be able to deliver the same ethic to the people on every bucket from every outlet, KKFC requires each member of each outlet to stick to a strict policy which is followed down to the last detail. Each piece of the crispy goodness that is the KKFC chicken takes exactly 22 hours to prepare, never an hour more or less. This arduous process that takes at least 15 individuals to finish ensures that every bucket is filled with the finest chicken.

Keeping in mind the Nepali demographic and the local taste, the first KKFC menu took almost six months to incorporate the universal appeal of fried chicken to the domestic flavours of Nepal.

Playing smart

For a business to work out today in the food industry, the classic recipe of running a restaurant can only take you so far. Playing it by the book is not what KKFC has done. Not only does KKFC frequently bring out newer and bolder menu items, it also uses attractive offers and marketing strategies to attract customers.

Shah shares that the kitchen and the restaurant business is a play ground for creativity. Hence, he has come up with eye catching deals such as “Twosdays” where you can get two burgers for the price of one each Tuesday, or the “KKFC hunger challenge” in which the meal is on the house should you finish it under a minute.

Besides, KKFC has ensured that it uses technology to its benefit. While traditional means of promotion and advertisement are still relevant, the marketing team stays connected with its customers through social media outlets. “We have been doing all sorts of promotions on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Messenger.” shares Shah, “We actually just tied up with Viber in order to launch our own set of Viber stickers.” The restaurant also tied up with multiple domestic brands with the likes of, “Ko Bancha Crorepati”, Goji coins, QFX cinemas and Paradygm TV. Going a step further, KKFC even launched its own mobile application from which customers can get exclusive deals and discounted prices. The fried chicken outlet also welcomes online food bloggers and critics to come and review what they have to offer. “We always welcome positive criticism so that we can improve on our shortcomings and that the next customer will have a more refined experience at KKFC.” Shah states.

Not shying away from technology has proved to be very beneficial for KKFC, the hype that their automated waiters got was a huge deal for the young brand. In Shah’s words, “The robot waiter service was like a rocket for KKFC.” Wanting to stay ahead of the pack, Shah reveals that the fast food outlet will be launching a self-serve kiosk system in every outlet within a month. The restaurant is making plans to implement multiple 32 inch touchscreen panels from which customers will no longer have to wait in tiring queues and can order straight through the display. Further, they are bringing out a service they call, “Order from table” where each table will have a QR code which the customer can scan and order straight from their smartphone.

Running a franchise

In the short time since its inception, KKFC has certainly made a name for itself as one of the best places for fried chicken. However, Shah believes that they actually made a slow start and are only just catching up. “Because of some legal and consumer issues, our progress was slowed down a bit during the first year.” states Shah, who is making arrangements to open more outlets this year. Currently KKFC has five outlets inside the valley, but they are soon opening in Butwal, Chitwan and another one inside the valley.

Shah is a firm believer in bettering the domestic economy and always encourages people who want to come back from abroad to start their own business; he would be happy to see more people buying his franchise. While the initial investment for opening a franchise outlet might be steep, in the long run these investments are key to ensuring that outlet is able to deliver the quality that KKFC demands. KKFC has high hopes for itself and with plans to open over 30 outlets in five years, it sees itself becoming the largest food and beverage brand in Nepal in the future. With a strong ethic for hospitality and service, KKFC want to make sure that their customers leave happy, regardless of how they enter.

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