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Colonel Harland Sanders started KFC back in 1952 at the ripe young age of 62! His recipe for the best chicken in the world was made with a special cooking process and a secret blend of 11 herbs and spices - the same secret blend we use today in our Original Recipe chicken.

The recipe is such a guarded secret that it's known by only a few people and locked in a vault in Louisville, Kentucky. The spices are blended in two different factories so no one place has the entire recipe. The Colonel made his first franchise deal on ahandshake in 1952, founding what has become the most successful chicken restaurant chain in the world. KFC was bought by PepsiCo in 1986. By then, it had 6,600 units in 55 countries.

Today, KFC has more than 10,000 units in over 79 countries,with U.S. system sales of $4 billion. Each week nearly 49 million customers come through KFC's doors for the chicken they crave, made from recipes no one can match - like Original Recipe, Extra Tasty Crispy, Tender Roast, Colonel's Crispy Strips and Chunky Chicken Pot Pie.

KFC is a true success story. Just four years ago, some so-called experts thought fried chicken was a dead bird. Many thought roasted chicken restaurants would drive our sales down. But the great popularity of our products proved naysayers wrong. In fact, our same store sales were up for the fourth year in a row- up2 percent in 1997. Restaurant margins increased 1.5 points - the fourth consecutive year we've significantly improved margins. And our base operating profit was up in the low double digits on a comparable basis.

A lot of this success is due to a renewed focus on product quality, improved operations and new product offerings. But the most significant change these last four years is a new culture that recognizes our RGMs and their teams as the most important leaders in the system. As you've seen, we're using KFC's model for success at our other operating companies, as well.

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