KFC SUCCESS STORY
Born and raised in Henryville, Indiana, Sanders passed through several professions in his lifetime. Sanders first served his fried chicken in 1930 in the midst of the Great Depression at a gas station he owned in North Corbin, Kentucky. The dining area was named "Sanders Court & Cafe" and was so successful that in 1936 Kentucky Governor Ruby Laffoon granted Sanders the title of honorary Kentucky Colonel, in recognition of his contribution to the state's cuisine. The following year Sanders expanded his restaurant to 142 seats, and added a motel he bought across the street. When Sanders prepared his chicken in his original restaurant in North Corbin, he prepared the chicken in an iron skillet, which took about 30 minutes to do, too long for a restaurant operation. In 1939, Sanders altered the cooking process for his fried chicken to use a pressure fryer, resulting in a greatly reduced cooking time comparable to that of deep frying. In 1940 Sanders devised what came to be known as his Original Recipe.
The Sanders Court & Cafe generally served travelers, often those headed to Florida, so when the route planned in the 1950s for what would become Interstate 75 bypassed Corbin, he sold his properties and traveled the U.S. to sell his chicken to restaurant owners. Sanders entered into franchise agreements paying him five cents for each piece of chicken sold. The first to take him up on the offer was Pete Harman in South Salt Lake, Utah; together, they opened the first "Kentucky Fried Chicken" outlet in 1952. By the early 1960s Kentucky Fried Chicken was sold in over 600 franchised outlets in both the United States and Canada. One of the longest-lived franchisees of the older Col. Sanders' chicken concept, as opposed to the KFC chain, was the Kenny Kings chain. The company owned many Northern Ohio diner-style restaurants, the last of which closed in 2004. Sanders sold the entire KFC franchising operation in 1964 for $2 million USD. Since that time, the chain has been sold three more times, most recently to PepsiCo, which made it part of its Tricon Global Restaurants division, which in turn was spun off in 1997, and has now been renamed to Yum! Brands. Additionally, Colonel Sanders' nephew, Lee Cummings, took his own Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises (and a chicken recipe of his own) and converted them to his own "spin-off" restaurant chain, Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken.
From a single outlet in 1952 KFC has presence in over 100 countries today with more than million outlets and a turnover of $520.3 million providing employment to 24,000 people. Really an outstanding achievement which was made possible by sheer determination and commitment of Great Sanders. Isn't it?