KFC was founded by Harland Sanders (Sanders) in the early 1930s, when he started cooking and serving food for hungry travelers who stopped by his service station in Corbin, Kentucky, US. He did not own a restaurant then, but served people on his own dining table in the living quarters of his service station. His chicken delicacies became popular and people started coming just for food. Kentucky Fried Chicken was born. Soon, Sanders moved across the street to a motel-cum-restaurant, later named ‘Sanders Court & Cafe,’ that seated around 142 people.
Over the next nine years, he perfected his secret blend of 11 herbs and spices and the basic cooking technique of chicken. Sanders’ fame grew and he was given the title Kentucky Colonel by the state Governor in 1935 for his contribution to the state’s cuisine. But his journey was full of troubles and hardship. Harland David Sanders was born on September 09, 1890 on a country road three miles (4.8 km) east of Henryville, Indiana. It must be said that Sanders’ childhood was tough. His father worked part time, doing some errands of farmers in Henryville. The problems began when the father of Harland Sanders suddenly died.This occurred when the future founder of KFC was only 6 years old. His life changed dramatically.
First, his mother went to work to a tomato-canning factory to feed the family somehow. And Harland Sanders was required to be a babysitter and take care of younger brother and sister at home.This fact was the key to his life. Since these factors have contributed to the development of Sanders as the chef. All the relatives began to notice that the little boy was a real talent in this case. Sanders falsified his birth date and volunteered for the U.S. Army at the age of 15 years. He served a full term and ended his service in Cuba. During his early years Case Study Case Study: Kentucky Fried Chicken’s (KFC) in India Sanders had to work as a steamboat pilot, insurance agent, farmer and etc. Finally, he found a good regular job as a fireman in the U.S. railway company. In 1908, having stable income Harland Sanders married Josephine King. After a some period of time he was fired form his job for insubordination.
His wife Josephine left him taken the children back to her parents’ home. Over the years he tried a lot of other jobs, but did not find any, which he could work at for a long time. At 40 years Harland had to change dozens of occupations. However, when Harland was already in his 40s, he had little capital accumulated over the years. Harland Sanders bought a service station, motel and cafe at Corbin, a town in Kentucky about 25 miles from the Tennessee border. It must be noted that Harland seriously thought about the location of his service station, selecting the best place for it. Along this road people traveled to Florida and other locations from northern states and the flow of customers was endless. In 1947, Harland and Josephine divorced. And in 1949, Sanders finally married his secretary Claudia Ledington. In 1949, Sanders was honored once again with the title of Kentucky colonel, this time by Lieutenant Governor Lawrence Weatherby. Being a Colonel, Harland Sanders developed his appearance starting to wear a white suit and black bow tie. And nowadays Harland Sanders is portrayed on the logos of KFC. This image quickly entered the hearts of ordinary Americans, who loved a small restaurant of Sanders. He had so many clients and net worth as he had never had before.
He felt success. Sanders’ restaurant business witnessed an unexpected halt in the early 1950s, when a new interstate highway was planned bypassing the town of Corbin. His restaurant flourished mainly due to the patronage of highway travelers. The new development meant the end of this. Sanders sold his restaurant operations. After settling all his bills, he was reduced to living on a meager $105 social security cheque. But Sanders did not lose hope. Banking on the popularity of his product and confident of his unique recipe for fried chicken, Sanders started franchising his chicken business in 1952.
He called it Kentucky Fried Chicken. He travelled the length and breadth of the country by car, visiting as many restaurants as possible and cooking batches of chicken. If the restaurant owners liked his chicken, he entered into a handshake agreement that stipulated payment of a nickel for each plate of chicken sold by the restaurant. By 1964, Sanders franchised more than 600 chicken outlets in the US and Canada. The same year, he sold his interest in his company in the US for $2 million to a group of investors. However, he remained the public spokesperson for the company. KFC grew rapidly under the new owners and issued shares to the public on March 17, 1966. In July 1971, KFC was acquired by Heublein Inc.
for $285 million. By then, KFC had over 3,500 franchised and company-owned restaurants in the world. In 1980, at the age of 90 years, Harland Sanders died. In recent years he was traveling, playing golf and ran their own restaurant Claudia Sanders’ Dinner House with his wife. He got disappointed at KFC, because he thought that in the pursuit of the lowest price and speed – the owners went to a compromise on the quality of chickens. However, after the death of Colonel the story was not over
Sandip Institute of Technology & Research Centre
Department of Management Studie