KFC UK & Ireland has signed a long-term agreement with Bidvest Logistics, following a major chicken supply shortage resulted from the chain’s decision to switch suppliers – from Bidvest Logistics to DHL.

Under the new contract, Bidvest Logistics will provide renewed supply to up to 350 of KFC’s restaurants in the north of the UK, from 26th March 2018.

The chain’s previous decision to switch to DHL saw 700 of its UK outlets to close, while union GMB had accused the chain of having made a “penny-pinching decision”.

KFC had attributed the shortages to DHL’s “teething problems” in a statement on Twitter.

Following the initial chicken shortage and the re-opening of 97% of its restaurants last week, KFC confirmed it had been serving a “reduced menu”, as it was subsequently experiencing gravy supply disruptions.

A KFC spokesperson said: “Our focus remains on ensuring our customers can enjoy our chicken without further disruption. With that in mind, the decision has been taken in conjunction with QSL and DHL to revert the distribution contract for up to 350 of our restaurants in the north of the UK back to Bidvest Logistics.

“We’ve been working hard to resolve the present situation with QSL and DHL. This decision will ease pressure at DHL’s Rugby depot, to help get our restaurants back to normal as quickly as possible.

“As it stands, over 97% of our 900 restaurants are now open for business, although there will be some limited menus before we are back to business as usual.”

Paul Whyte at Bidvest Logistics commented: “We are delighted to welcome KFC back to Bidvest Logistics.

“As the UK’s leading foodservice logistics specialist, we understand the complexities of delivering fresh chicken. KFC are a valued customer and we will provide them with a seamless return to our network.”

Food Management Today has contacted DHL for comment but has not yet received a response.