Kentucky Fried Chicken announced Wednesday it will provide $500,000 worth of groceries to team members across its more than 4,000 U.S. restaurants to celebrate its workforce who are continuing to keep America fed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. KFC franchisees have joined forces to create a Grocery Assistance Fund through the KFC Foundation, which will provide $100 grocery gift cards to thousands of U.S. employees.
With kids home from school and college, many are feeling a pantry pinch during this time. KFC recently surveyed restaurant employees to learn more about how it could better assist restaurant-level team members during the crisis, and groceries for employees and their families consistently ranked among the top responses as a preferred means of support.
KFC franchisees all over the country, many of whom are small, local business owners, have been working to support and celebrate their individual teams through bonuses, hourly pay increases, meals for their employees and their families, pay continuation for employees impacted by COVID-19, and a variety of other financial incentives.
Notably, KFC franchisees Dick West (West Quality Foods) and Todd and Justin Stewart (Stewart Restaurant Group), among others, granted a $2 per hour appreciation incentive to employees. Franchisee Brandon Robertson provided all team members with $20 Fill Ups, enough food to feed a family of four, to take home for their families, along with a coupon to share one with someone in need within their local community, while restaurants in the Harman system, KFC’s oldest franchisee, provided meals and an appreciation bonus to each of their hourly employees, as well as their restaurant general managers and above unit managers.
“Our team members are going above and beyond to keep America fed and spread goodwill throughout our communities, whether that’s by donating thousands of meals to frontline healthcare workers or feeding children missing school meals,” says Justin Stewart, board chair, KFC Foundation. “As a small thank you, and in addition to many individual franchisee efforts, we have come together as franchisee leaders to care for restaurant employees through the Grocery Assistance Fund.”
The Grocery Assistance Fund is just another way KFC and its franchisees are working to support team members across the country. For this initiative, franchisees and employees in all U.S. restaurants can recommend co-workers in need to receive a grocery gift card from the KFC Foundation, in partnership with the YUM! Foundation. Team members can choose to recommend others for any reason.
In the wake of COVID-19, KFC has also made the following commitments to support its people, communities and franchisees:
Continuing to keep America fed: KFC is open and ready to feed your family. KFC is offering free delivery (minimum $20 order before taxes, tips, and fees) with contactless delivery options in addition to remaining open for drive-thru and carry-out.
Increased safety measures for customers and team members: KFC recently announced new measures across the U.S., including:
- Distribution of thermometers with infrared contactless temperature scanners to every restaurant, and implementation of temperature checks for every employee before their shift starts.
- Distribution of non-surgical, disposable masks for restaurant team members across the U.S.
- Instillation of acrylic front counter shields in restaurants, providing a safety barrier between employees and guests.
- Using a drive-thru extender payment pad to further limit contact between customers and employees.
Feeding communities: KFC recently donated one million pieces of chicken to provide relief to communities in need, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the donation, KFC franchisees across the country were able to provide meals to organizations of their choice in their local communities. In addition to the one million pieces of chicken donation, KFC franchisees have been stepping up their relief efforts across the country, donating thousands of meals to frontline healthcare workers, feeding families in need and providing meals to essential workers.
Supporting children in need: In March, KFC announced a $400,000 donation to Blessings in a Backpack to provide meals to children who may otherwise go hungry due to school closures.
Providing relief to franchisees: KFC will grant franchisees a 60-day grace period on current royalties. KFC parent company Yum! Brands (including KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell) has also deferred all 2020 capital obligations for remodels and new unit development through the end of this year.