SAN RAFAEL, CA - OCTOBER 30:  A bucket of KFC Extra Crispy fried chicken is displayed October 30, 2006 in San Rafael, California. KFC is phasing out trans fats and plans to use zero trans fat soybean oil for cooking of their Original Recipe and Extra Crispy fried chicken as well as other menu items. KFC expects to have all of its 5,500 restaurants in the U.S. switched to the new oil by April 2007.  (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
How Wendy's Founder Helped Create KFC's Iconic Chicken Bucket
By Cynthia Anaya
Wendy's and KFC are among the most popular fast-food chains in the United States, and although they are indirect competitors, the two chains share a special connection. This connection involves KFC's iconic chicken bucket — the delicious multi-piece family feast featuring drums, thighs, breasts, and wings.
KFC's founder, Colonel Harland Sanders, and his first franchisee introduced the menu item in 1957, but another man played a role in the bucket's success. Ten years before that, Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s, worked as a cook at a restaurant in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where Sanders stopped by to persuade the owner to convert it into a KFC.
As the cook at the new Fort Wayne KFC, Thomas shared some marketing ideas for the chain with Sanders, and his most significant idea involved the design of the iconic chicken bucket. Thomas presented his recommendation for not only the red-and-white-striped design but also a matching restaurant sign to help promote the product.
The world loves the KFC chicken bucket, thanks to the efforts of Colonel Sanders and Dave Thomas. Although Wendy's has become more popular than KFC, it could be argued that Sanders and Thomas helped fuel each other's success.