What could have yours truly here frowning in this post while on a trip to the KFC Headquarters? No it wasn’t the fact I was disappointed with anything I learned while at KFC. Wondering what could have made me throw my head back in maniacal laughter! Could I have found out the secret recipe and now am on the road to riches galore….nope. Though that’s not to say I didn’t try to get it out of a few people, I did, and they have that secured so well that I have no hope of gaining that wisdom in this life. What I did gain though was insight into a company my family already enjoys.
A group of about 25 (give or take a few) bloggers were flown to Louisville, KY to visit the KFC homefront and get an insiders look into the company. I learned so much while on this trip I know I am not going to be able to put everything in this post but wanted to highlight some of the things I found interesting during the trip. Before I continue check out this video KFC made that highlights the day we had:
I got hands on experience in the kitchen (yes my hands even touched that secret recipe). One of the things I loved knowing is that the chicken KFC uses is FRESH. It is delivered several times a week and kept stored in a certain tempature so it’s never frozen. Did you also know they are not allowed to let it sit for too long after cooking (in a pressurized cooker for 18 minutes by the way)? That way everything from preparation to eating you are getting fresh chicken? With so many companies using frozen products so they can keep more in stock, I found it a breath of fresh air that KFC is a little different. *Pun totally intended*
I had the chance to tour the YUM facilities, learn about how they get insight into what is liked and not liked by taste testers, see the company store, and the Colonel Sanders museum (who lived to be 90….that’s a lot of living). I learned how cooks know if they are making the chicken just right, that they haver a system when cooking the chicken from start to finish and 7 is the magic number (totally my lucky number too). I got to try to open the vault where the secret recipe is stored, which resulted in my sad face mentioned above as I was not successful. I also enjoyed trying my hand at making chicken, resulting in the loss of a piece of chicken in the secret ingredient and the laughter mentioned above. I mean really how does one lose a piece of chicken!
The people behind the scenes at KFC are wonderful and share so much information with the bloggers. Everything from how many people actually know the secret recipe (or parts of it) to upcoming happenings that I am not allowed to disclose just yet but they are exciting. Getting to know a company that my family uses and enjoys was priceless and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Now here are some of the things I learned that I felt compelled to share:
- They took a stand against one of their biggest chicken providers a couple of years ago when they found out some things about how the chickens were being treated inhumanely. They then refused to buy from them until the problem was corrected and I have no doubt in my mind if they thought anything like that was happening again they would take the same stand. You can learn more by checking out KFC Fact page. I also learned KFC does not use chicken that are treated with hormones.
- They do quite a bit of philanthropic work. I love knowing a company is giving back. Whether it’s by reuniting family or giving our the KFC Colonel’s Scholarship they are doing their part to help others. One of the things I really loved, being in social media, was their tweet scholarship. People received scholarships through 140 character contests, that is pretty awesome. Watch for the next tweet scholarship to come in the fall!
- The Colonel, I believe, is the reason KFC gives back the way they do. I learned that he was known to give franchises away to promising people expecting nothing in return. He is also the reason KFC holds their restaurants to higher standards. If he didn’t like something or if something didn’t taste good to him, he let them know. A man who knew what he liked and loved helping others. My favorite story was of him picking up a college student on the side of the road and then taking him and paying his tuition in full. What a giver!
- The head chef at KFC works with brands such as McCormick and many others to come up with new ideas. So chances are a brand you use could be involved in some happenings and new things KFC comes out with. I thought that was pretty cool.
Overall my trip gave me a new level of respect for a company my family already ate. We like their food and now to know there is so much more behind the company just makes me smile. Now if only I could have convinced them to share that recipe with me I could make that perfect chicken at home. I am looking forward to seeing what else they have planned down the road because I know there is something yummy up their sleeve, like the chicken pot pie that is so delish (I tried it there and it was so good, whoever says different needs their taste buds checked).
One more thing. I have 10 $50 gift certificates to KFC to give away so keep watch for that post as well as a post with a video montage of the photos!
*As a participant of the KFC Blogger Tour accommodations, meals, transportation, & other gift items were provided. Statements made in this post are what I learned while on the trip, opinions are mine and mine alone and not influenced in any way. For more please see my disclosure.
- KFC Fresh Blogger Trip Review – Photos & Video (2wired2tired.com)