Workers union GMB has said KFC’s decision to change distributor has cost jobs and led to hundreds of workers at closed restaurants not getting paid.
Last Wednesday (14 February), KFC moved its delivery contract from Bidvest Logistics, part of Bidfood, to DHL and QSL
However ‘teething problems’ with the new delivery partner has led to a chicken shortage, forcing 750 of KFC’s 900 UK outlets to close.
In a statement on its website KFC apologised for the move. It said: “Getting fresh chicken out to 900 restaurants across the country is pretty complex.
“We won’t compromise on quality, so no deliveries has meant some of our restaurants are closed and others are operating a limited menu, or shortened hours.”
However, Mark Rix, GMB national officer, accused KFC of ‘penny-pinching’ and said the decision had not only cost 255 jobs at Bidvest, but had left workers at some closed KFC restaurants not getting paid enough.
“We tried to warn KFC this decision would have consequences – well now the chickens are coming home to roost,” he said.
“Bidvest are specialists – a food distribution firm with years of experience. DHL are scratching around for any work they can get, and undercut them.
“It’s an absolute cock up. KFC are left with hundreds of restaurants closed while DHL try and run the whole operation out of one distribution centre.”
KFC said that in restaurants it owned, staff on short-term contracts would be paid the average hours worked per day over the last 12 weeks and those on a salary would continue to be paid. However the majority of KFC stores are run under franchise agreements.
“Franchisees will be seeking their own independent advice, but we’re encouraging them to adopt this policy too,” it said.
In a statement DHL said: “Due to operational issues, a number of deliveries in recent days have been incomplete or delayed. We are working with our partners, KFC and QSL, to rectify the situation as a priority and apologise for any inconvenience.”
Bidfood added: “Following a seamless transition from Bidvest Logistics, KFC moved their distribution to a new provider from Wednesday 14th February. We wish them well in their future endeavours.”