By now, you’ve probably heard about the KFC coupon promotion for a free meal of new Kentucky Grilled Chicken (KGC) that Oprah gave out through her website a few weeks ago. KFC severely underestimated the power of both Oprah and a free meal, and the coupon promotion backfired for the restaurant chain. Read about it in my first post about the KFC coupon.
A Second Chance
I decided to give Kentucky Grilled Chicken another chance. So, my co-worker and I headed back to the only KFC in Chicago’s Loop for lunch last week. We brought with us a new coupon that offered a free KGC meal if we purchased an equivalent one.
We were shocked by what we saw on the store’s door when we arrived to the restaurant. The KFC restaurant has been closed indefinitely by the Cook County Sheriff’s office. (Check out the sign posted on the door in the picture on the right.)
According to some gentlemen standing outside the restaurant who had been working on a construction site nearby, the KFC restaurant had never opened after the first day of Oprah’s initial coupon offer.
Once again, I’m baffled at the poor execution of the Kentucky Grilled Chicken rollout by KFC:
- The new KFC grilled chicken menu items were promoted on Oprah’s show.
- Oprah is queen of Chicago.
- There is only one KFC in Chicago’s Loop – its busiest lunch spot.
- The KFC in the Loop didn’t have grilled chicken on the first day of the promotion and has never been open after the first day of the promotion.
You know the saying: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
I won’t be trying the new KGC any time soon. For the record, on the day that we went to KFC for the second time, the KFC Loop restaurant location was listed on the KFC website. As of today, the restaurant has been taken off of KFC’s website.
Sorry, KFC. Too little, too late.
Add This to Your To-Do List
I said this after my first KFC post and I’ll say it again:
This one’s pretty simple. If you’re planning a special promotion or event – no matter how big or small your organization is – make sure that all involved parties are aware of what they need to do to support the initiative. KFC could have made a big splash in the Loop. Instead, they have upset thousands of potential customers in Oprah’s city. And if history has taught us anything, it’s not to upset Oprah.
There’s never a lack of ideas.