The great chicken shortage of 2018 could have been easily avoided, the GMB claimed.
Around 700 KFC restaurants closed this week, staff are losing out on wages and furious customers are so annoyed some are bothering the police about the crisis.
But Mick Rix, the GMB’s national officer, said the union raised concerns last October about KFC dumping food delivery specialists Bidvest Logistics for DHL.
He said: ‘We warned them a few months ago. I wrote to KFC. I alluded to Burger King trying to cut costs and ending up with poorer quality service and poorer distribution.’
The Guardian reported the decision to switch from multiple depots to one huge distribution centre in Rugby is at the centre of the logistics disaster.
Rix added: ‘They took a lower tender with a load of promises that have not materialised. The system can’t cope.
‘My sources say KFC execs knew three weeks ago that there was a major problem with DHL. They were concerned about the set-up and the systems after testing. And some of the answers from DHL were completely strange and worrying. It was clear it was going to fall flat on its face.’
Bidvest had to make 255 people redundant after losing the KFC contract and Rix believes KFC should go back to the food delivery specialists.
A KFC spokesperson said: ‘We feel for those who lost their jobs at Bidvest; the decision to change supplier wasn’t taken lightly. DHL have estimated that winning the KFC contract and opening the new distribution centre has created 300 new jobs.’
DHL apologised for its failure to deliver chicken across the nation, John Boulter, from the firm, said: ‘DHL regrets the interruption of supply and is working diligently to rectify the situation by working with KFC and other partners involved in the supply chain.’