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The present paper is devoted to the overview and evaluation of KFC business processes. The paper defines the term “business process,” detects two major KFC processes, provides their description that is based on KFC promises and documented outcomes, and makes suggestions about their advantages and disadvantages. It is concluded that there is some room for development in the processes, but they both exhibit great potential, which is likely to be used for their improvement.
The term “business process” has multiple definitions, not all of which can be regarded as perfectly substitutable. In summary, in terms of a business, a process is “a group of related activities” or “a series of steps” that allows achieving a business objective, which typically consists of creating “a result of value for clients,” primarily the product or service in question (Rosing, Scheel, and Scheer 130-131).
However, other sources of customer satisfaction and other business objectives can be considered as the final destination of business processes. For example, KFC’s corporate social responsibility-related activities (diversity management, animal welfare) can be regarded as a business process of its own (“There’s More to US” par. 1-9). In other words, most of a company’s activities can be classified as business processes or their part. However, to limit our analysis, we will focus on two key business processes for KFC.
KFC and its Business Processes
KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) is a subsidiary of Yum! brands, Inc. KFC was founded in 1952 by Colonel Harland Sanders as a freshly made chicken meal restaurant; currently, it operates and franchises its restaurants internationally (“Company Overview” par. 1). The number of restaurants that KFC operates amounts to 17,000 (“Be Your Own Colonel” par. 1). In 2013, KFC was present 60% of the world’s countries (Wong par. 2). It may be assumed that the key processes for KFC include their service and product as well as franchising.
Service and Product
The product production process involves several stages that begin with the concept development and end with production or continuous improvement (Annacchino 461-465). The concept of home-made meals with chicken has changed over time, but KFC still has several unique foods to offer, including the Original Recipe (r) and Extra Crispy (TM) (“What Made Us Great” par. 1). The specific processes are not disclosed, but KFC pledges to adhere to sanitary norms (Shuailing and Zhi 143). In general, KFC claims to have a customer-centric approach and philosophy, which presupposes high quality and safety products as well as friendly, fast, and quality service (Shuailing and Zhi 143-144).
KFC restaurants serve a variety of foods including “sandwiches, sides, desserts, drinks, sauces, fill-ups, buttermilk biscuits, and other products; big-box meals, popcorn nuggets, and kid’s meals; and chicken products, including chicken hot wings, chicken sandwiches, and fried chicken products” (“Company Overview” par. 1). Chicken foods are the main product offered in restaurants. However, food safety issues emerged in Chinese KFC restaurants during 2013, and even though the company swears to have dealt with them, they have caused major problems and a decrease in KFC’s reputation (Wong par. 3-4).
One of the reasons for the issues appears to consist of suppliers who have been providing contaminated or low-quality poultry (Shuailing and Zhi 145). In particular, the suppliers provided KFC with “fast” chicken that gets hormones injections to mature rapidly. At the same time, KFC claims to have no contaminated or fast chicken on their menu (“There’s More to US” par. 2-6). In other words, there is a serious drawback in the KFC service and product business process.
KFC has a specifically developed franchising process. In particular, the company pays special attention to candidate assessment. The candidates are supposed to provide the information on their multi-unit restaurant operation experience, finances, and financial reputation as well as the personal one (“KFC Franchising” par. 2-4). Also, KFC finds it necessary to assess the candidates’ motivation and commitment.
All the information is provided by the candidate in the application and during interviews; also, it is reviewed by the company via background checks. The relationships between the franchise owners and the company are regulated via the Franchise Agreement, and the monitoring of the performance is carried out with the help of several procedures. The Franchise 360 scorecard is aimed at assessing the quality of food, service, and some other crucial aspects (like cleanness).
The third-party Food Safety Audits are carried out to ensure the quality and safety of food. Finally, customers can assess franchisees’ performance with the help of the Voice of the Customer Program. Franchising is possible within the US and internationally. Among other aspects that KFC specifically comments on concerning the franchising process is the intent of the company to increase the number of minorities among franchise owners (“KFC Franchising” par. 4).
Evaluation and Conclusion
In general, the service and product and the franchising processes of KFC can be regarded as consistent, comprehensive, and customer-oriented. KFC’s website demonstrates the desire to provide quality and safe products that will be served with a smile in a KFC restaurant regardless of whether it is a franchise unit or not. Franchising candidates are picked thoroughly, and their performance is controlled with the help of numerous tools that should assist in the improvement of franchise restaurants. Also, KFC highlights its endeavor for a responsible business, which can be illustrated by their willingness to involve minorities in their business. To sum up, there is a notable potential in both processes, and their developers aim for continuous improvement of KFC restaurant quality.
Unfortunately, from the analysis above it is apparent that the service and product process of KFC has a major weakness. While its general philosophy and endeavor for customer-oriented processes are supposed to rule out low-quality products, the lack of control over suppliers leads to this adverse outcome. Sailing and Zhi suggest that it is the responsibility of KFC to check and verify the quality of supply since it is KFC reputation that is endangered.
It might be reasonable to check suppliers as rigorously as franchisee candidates (or even more rigorously). Also, it is not ruled out that the issues related to the quality of food might be the result of franchisees’ poor control oversupply. The requirements for the quality of the service and products provided by the franchisees, however, suggest that KFC is supposed to be ensuring sufficient control over the food safety and other aspects of the restaurants’ service.
Unfortunately, policies and philosophies are not always correlated with the outcomes, and it can be suggested that the implementation parts of the service and product and franchising processes of KFC are lacking control. Therefore, it should be pointed out that there is some room for improvement in both processes that are concerned with better quality control. Undoubtedly, the existing practices and the will for improvement that is embedded in KFC philosophy should facilitate this change.
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Annacchino, Marc A. The Pursuit Of New Product Development. Amsterdam: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2011. Print.
“Be Your Own Colonel.” KFC. KFC, 2016. Web.
“Company Overview.” Bloomberg. Bloomberg L.P., 2016. Web.
“KFC Franchising.” KFC Franchise.com. KFC, 2016. Web.
Rosing, Mark von, Henrik von Scheel, and August-Wilhelm Scheer. The Complete Business Process Handbook. Burlington: Morgan Kaufmann, 2014. Print.
Shuailing, Li, and Yu Zhi. “KFC Development in Chinese Market–Based on the Social Responsibility and Ethics.” International Business and Management 10.3 (2015): 142-146. Print.
“There’s More to US.” KFC. KFC, 2016. Web.
“What Made Us Great.” KFC. KFC, 2016. Web.
Wong, Venessa. “KFC Brings Buckets of Chicken Into Nations With Food Safety Risks.” Bloomberg Business. 2013. Web.