After a KFC food-safety scandal in November, Yum! Brands China plans to cut ties with more than 1,000 chicken slaughterhouses in order to assure consumers that they are using chemical-free poultry, according to The Chicago Tribune.
KFC China began losing business in December 2012, soon after the Chinese Media reported that one of the company’s chicken suppliers, Su Hai Group, was using chemicals to accelerate the growth cycle of their chickens from 100 days to a mere 45. KFC responded by denying the allegations and explaining that Su Hai Group supplied less than 1% of the brand’s chicken, but diners were not moved by their response. Business in China’s 5,300 KFC restaurants began to decline anyway.
Now, Sam Su, CEO and Chairman of Yum! Brands China, is on a mission to regain his customers’ trust. Su wants to rebuild the image of KFC and assure consumers that the chicken will be fresh and additive-free this time around by cutting off relations with the substandard slaughterhouses that once supplied the chain.
“Some of the chicken houses are just very outdated and small. The management is not up to par, so our first thing is to eliminate some of the chicken houses at high risk,” Mr. Su explained in an interview with CNBC.
Mr. Su hopes that he can earn KFC China’s consumers’ trust back by strongly taking action and getting rid of unreliable suppliers once and for all. “Anytime you respond to the consumer’s concerns with concrete actions, you will earn their trust back.”
Skyler Bouchard is a junior writer at the Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter at @skylerbouchard.