It took the bold business style of KFC founder Colonel Harland Sanders to pioneer the fast food franchising industry at an age when most people retire. Nearly a half-century later, that same bold spirit continues to drive the KFC system today.

KFC declared 1998 the “Year of the Customer.” By focusing our efforts on initiatives to enhance our customers’ experience, KFC registered record sales and profits, with system sales up nearly 5 percent over last year. Same store sales grew over 3 percent in 1998 — in a QSR segment that was essentially flat.

Much of that sales excitement came from delicious new products. New Extra Crispy Chicken proved that customers still love their chicken “on-the-bone.” But it was new Popcorn Chicken that provided the most customer excitement in 1998. KFC company restaurants and franchisees alike set new records for quarterly sales.

A major factor in this sales surge was the bold, new animated Colonel advertising campaign that debuted in early September. Voiced by actor Randy Quaid, the animated Colonel will continue to set the stage for future promotions. The ads not only capture the Colonel’s unmistakable look but also bring forth his distinctly high-spirited personality.  The animated Colonel certainly broke through. In the 30 days following the Popcorn Chicken ad premiere, consumer tracking surveys showed KFC advertising awareness up 45 percent. Same store sales grew a record 12 percent that period.

In 1998, customers enjoyed their chicken meals and snacks at many more “new image” KFC restaurants. Franchisees and company operators built or remodeled more than 325 restaurants this year — the most single year activity in restaurant development for KFC in many years.


As KFC moves toward the 21st Century, we are committed to listening and responding to the voices of our customers, our franchisees and our front-line employees. These efforts will reinforce our role as the “chicken experts” — on the bone and on the go, and will help build long-lasting relationships with our customers.

KFC’s recipe for success in the next millennium is as fresh today as when the Colonel introduced it — comeback value for the world’s most delicious chicken recipes — all served up with a smile.

Chuck Rawley (left)
President & Chief Operating Officer

Terry Davenport (right)
Chief Concept Officer