Kentucky Fried Chicken is increasing its advertising spend by 36 per cent to &£16.5m, in an effort to match fast-food rivals McDonald’s and Burger King.
KFC, which is owned by Tricon Restaurants International, has announced it will open 50 new outlets in the UK this year.
It plans to unveil a similar number over the next ten years, and will eventually have 1,000 outlets in the UK.
The chain wants to increase its proportion of drive-through restaurants from 25 per cent to 50 per cent during the expansion, which comes as Tricon develops plans to build 100 new Pizza Hut restaurants (MW last week). Tricon also owns Mexican restaurant chain Taco Bell.
A new ad campaign featuring the cartoon character of KFC’s founder, Colonel Sanders, will be shown on TV later this year.
KFC spent &£12m on advertising in the year to June 1999, &£1m less than Burger King, according to AC Nielsen MEAL. However, KFC will overtake Burger King with this year’s increased spend. The biggest fast-food advertiser is McDonald’s, which spent &£48.5m in the year to June.
KFC is seeking two marketing managers to work with UK marketing director John Prior on the expansion programme.
The plans are being overseen by KFC senior vice-president for Europe Graham Allan. He says: “KFC is committed to doubling its UK business to 1,000 outlets. We will be significantly raising our ad spend to increase market share.”