Monday, November 21, 2005

KFC in Thailand

What the heck is wrong with KFC in Thailand? Looks like they're having some sourcing problems, of late-- that's the only way to explain some of the idiocy we've seen. To wit:

1) They take coleslaw off their menu, easily one of their most popular items and often the only reason to eat at KFC, since fried chicken is ubiquitous here and we certainly don't need another 'restaurant' serving it up. No, when you went to KFC, you were often there at least partly for the coleslaw, since that's not the kind of thing you're likely to find anyplace else.

So now it's gone. No hab, mai mee. Were cabbage and mayo too hard to get? They did replace it with something, some kind of tuna-corn-carrot dish that looks and tastes remarkably like catfood. They keep pushing it but nobody's buying.

2) Zinger burgers. After a heavy advertising campaign promoting this product, they are now periodically 'out' of Zinger burgers. At least that is what I was told several times, most recently 21 Nov, 8pm Thai time, at both KFC outlets at Central Bangna. How is this possible? Imagine walking into a McD's and being told they are out of Big Macs. This is a routine occurence with KFC here in Bkk. Previously, I just chalked it up to the fact that past a certain point in the evening (about an hour to an hour and half before closing) the Thai employees have already packed up the food area in preparation for leaving. If your order requires them to unpack anything, you will be cheerfully sent on your way with a smirk and a shrug. KFC is like most Thai run businesses in that there is no effective middle management and what passes for employee training is conducted on a ad hoc basis, if at all.

But anway, this Zinger 'shortage' seems to be different than just a couple of lazy frontline monkeys in spiffy KFC gear (proud in uniform, they are) refusing to make a sandwich. Like a mouldy chicken nugget picked apart by ants under your living room sofa, perhaps we are witnessing the disintegration of KFC in the Happy Kingdom.