KFC History: All You Need TO Know


Kfc History

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), is famous for its fried Chicken. Kfc history is best known for its 72-year-old man with a white moustache.

The story started in the 1930s. A man named Colonel Harland Sanders refused to give in in the face of adversity. After he died in 1980, Sanders became a multimillionaire through the successful establishment of KFC, the largest fast-food franchise in the world.

Kfc History Starts With Colonel Sanders And His Jobs

colonel senders

Kfc history starts with Colonel Sanders. He was birthed in Henryville Indiana in 1890. His mother became a single parent when his father died at age 5. The colonel looked after his two siblings while she went to work. She also prepared meals for them. His mother remarried when he was 12. However, his stepfather did not like his stepchildren. After one year, he decided to leave home.

He started working on a dairy farm. He was a morning person who fed the animals, went to school and did odd jobs at night. In seventh grade, he quit school quickly as algebra proved too difficult.

In the following years, he tried out many jobs, including:

  • Streetcar conductor
  • The insurance agent
  • Railroad firefighters
  • steamboat operator,
  • Tire seller
  • lawyer.

He tried other positions but failed in them all.

Initial Breakthrough in 1930 of Kfc History

sanders cafe

Sanders worked in a gas station at a Corbin station, Kentucky, in 1930.

He also cooked and sold food to customers to make an extra income. He prepared fried chicken as well as other foods he had learned about while growing up.

Soon word spread about him and people from far-flung places began to enjoy his delicious food. His chicken was so well-received that he converted the gas station into a full-fledged restaurant.

In 1936, the Governor of Kentucky awarded him the title of Kentucky Colonel. By 1937, Sanders had added a motel to the operation and a cafe. Sanders courts & Cafe could seat about 142 people.

Sanders complained that the time it took to cook the fried bird was too long since the fried chicken was his most-sold item.

To address this issue, he used a pressure cooker rather than deep-frying the chicken. He also reduced the cooking time to only 8-9 mins. This enabled him to sell more fried Chicken.

He continued to experiment with his chicken recipe. In 1938, he developed the perfect fried chicken recipe. KFC kept the recipe’s 11 spices and herbs secret.

“I threw two handfuls of it into the flour and stirred it up with the rest of my seasonings. When I fried it up, it was the best chicken I’d ever tasted in my life. And, I’ve never changed my ingredients from that time to this.” – an extract from his autobiography.

He added another Sanders Court & Cafe to his business in Ashville North Carolina. In 1939, Corbin lost its restaurant to a fire. World War II had already broken out when the restaurant was rebuilt. His customer base, which consisted mostly of tourists, was greatly reduced by that time. Shortly after, he sold his Ashville shop.

KFC Closure of His Restuarant in 1955

kfc closure

His business continued to struggle. In 1955, another blow was dealt. The highway was closed to traffic and an interstate bypass was created. Finally, Sanders had to sell Corbin.

He was 66 years old and needed $105 to support his family. But it turned out to be a blessing. Sanders had an alternative idea. He thought of franchising his recipe, Kentucky Fried Chicken. When he franchised his recipe to Pete Harman, Sanders had already laid a foundation.

Don Andreson a Harman sign-painting contractor, came up with the idea for “Kentucky Fried Chicken”.

He packed his car full of pressure cookers and a blend from 11 Herbs & Spices before he set out to travel across the United States.

He made a journey across the country to offer samples at different restaurants. After tasting the samples, his team negotiated franchise deals for the restaurant owners. They usually got $0.04 commissions per piece of chicken they sold. He even offered to teach them how to make it. He signed his initial franchise agreement with a Utah-based restaurant. There were 600 Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises by 1963.

Sanders couldn’t manage the business at such an advanced age.

Official Acquisition in 1964

kfc aquisition

Many people tried buying KFC from Sanders. Harland Sanders finally sold KFC to a group that included John Y. US$ 2 million was purchased by Jack C. Massey (Brown) It was sold under conditions that quality will never be compromised, that he will get a lifetime salary and that he will be the face of the company.

​”A lot of people have asked me why I sold my business after pouring everything I had into building it up. The answer is something like this. When Brown first got interested in Kentucky Fried Chicken, the popularity of my idea was beginning to run right smack over me. My business was beginning to get too big for me, no matter how much energy and time I put into it.”

His autobiography.

Pepsi Co. Bought Kfc in 1971

pepsi and kfc

By 1970, there had been 3000 outlets in 48 different countries. KFC was bought by Heublein, a food and beverage company, in 1971 for $285 Million. Harland Sanders, who died in 1980. KFC had approximately 6000 outlets in 48 different countries when he died.

R.J. Reynolds, a tobacco king, purchased Heublein on 22nd October 1982. KFC was then sold to PepsiCo on 23rd December 1986 for US $850 million.

PepsiCo subsequently launched many new products. 1991 saw the official adoption by KFC of the name “KFC”.

PepsiCo kept growing, and in 1997, PepsiCo split off its restaurant chain (KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut), into Tricon Global Restaurant Inc. Yum! was established by the new company. Brands in May 2002.

Controversies of Kfc

mutant chicken

It is not unusual for major fast-food chains to be the subject of controversy. The internet resurfaced a rumour in 2014 that KFC wasn’t using chicken meat. They were instead creating a new type of mutant chicken to make even more meat. Later, the rumour was discredited.

Pamela Andreson – an animal rights activist and actress – exposed the workings of KFC’s bucket. KFC is being criticized for animal cruelty.  Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) responded by stating they take every precaution to avoid any cruelty towards animals.

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has seen many controversies in its history, and it continues to address them today.

KFC in 2023

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) celebrates its anniversary in 2023. The fast food chain will aim to continue serving delicious chicken meals and its loyal customers. KFC will celebrate by launching a new Kfc menu offering 100 options for chicken. KFC will also release a limited edition KFC bucket. It will be limited in quantity. KFC lovers should visit their nearest restaurants in 2023 for the new menu. The limited edition bucket will also be available.


If so, all doubts about Kfc history, and the concrete secrets behind its success. We can conclude by saying Charles Harland Sanders was an individual who successfully overcame his Depression. Even at the ripe old age of 72, he had a wonderful food store that’s still unbeaten.

Kentucky Fried Chicken or KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) is a well-known restaurant. The inspiring story behind KFC’s triumph is remarkable. KFC’s chicken has a distinct flavour that sets it apart from other restaurants’ chicken. This is why people often think of KFC when they hear the term chicken. KFC is a perfect match for its slogan. It’s like eating KFC chicken and licking our fingers. You can also stay tuned to Many Startup Stories, which will include many details about famous restaurants and companies.

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