KFC chicken shortage: Australian fast food restaurants hit by COVID supply chain crisis

Major supply chain disruptions caused by rising COVID-19 cases have hit KFC’s poultry supply.

In recent days, some fast-food outlets have posted signs warning of sold-out items due to supply issues and delivery delays.

“Due to supplier issues, we do not have original chicken, zingers, tenderloins or wings. Please refer to sold out stickers for available items,” one sign read.

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Disgruntled customers have taken to social media to vent their frustration with one shopper claiming to have tried several stores all of which had shortages due to ‘supply issues’.

“When you go to the local KFC and they don’t have burgers, original chicken, hot and spicy chicken, popcorn chicken, or original tenders, it’s very difficult. Well done KFC,” said another.

File image of a KFC fast food restaurant. Credit: PA

In a statement to 7NEWS.com.au, a KFC spokesperson confirmed that some restaurants had been forced to offer a “reduced menu”.

“Unfortunately our supply chain has been disrupted and some of our restaurants will be offering a reduced menu,” he said.

“We are sorry for the problems this is causing our customers – we are doing everything we can to help our suppliers get back on track.”

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“Our supply chain and workforce have been affected by COVID-19” – KFC spokesperson.

On its website, KFC reiterated that “like many businesses across Australia, our supply chain and workforce have been impacted by COVID-19. Rest assured we are doing everything we can to return to fry up everyone’s favorites ASAP.

“This is not how we wanted to start the year, be nice to each other, and our staff is doing their best to provide the chicken we all love.”

In July 2020, some KFC outlets in Melbourne were forced to close after being left with reduced stock due to an outbreak of COVID-19.

The fast-food chain had said a number of outbreaks at meat processing facilities had led to reduced supplies.

“Our chicken supply has been disrupted in Victoria this week and some of our restaurants will only be open for limited hours or may have to close this weekend,” a KFC Australia spokesperson told 7NEWS.com .au at the time.

Shoppers found bare shelves in many supermarkets across the country.
Shoppers found bare shelves in many supermarkets across the country. Credit: Getty Images

The increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and the resulting isolation requirements have put pressure on food manufacturers and the entire transportation and retail sectors.

The latest National Cabinet meeting resulted in changes to testing requirements for lorry drivers, removing the need for a PCR test every seven days. The prime minister said the decision was key to ensuring food distribution networks can keep moving.

Coles supermarkets last week reintroduced purchase limits on items such as minced meat, sausages and chicken while managing critical staff shortages.

Operations manager Matt Swindells told 7NEWS it “would take us a few weeks to fully recover”.

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