Colorado’s Connection to KFC Becoming a ‘Finger Licking Good’ Empire
Kentucky Fried Chicken, most commonly known today as KFC, has an estimated worth of $23 billion here in 2021, Colorado played a part in making that happen.
Colonel Sanders. There aren't many names that can make you picture one food item in your head, Colonel Sanders is one of them, for Kentucky Fried Chicken. Those eleven herbs and spices in that recipe he came up with, along with his drive to succeed, made him a legend.
I've been listening to a podcast by Business Wars, about the rise of KFC, Chick-Fil-A and Popeyes. Did you know Popeyes got its name from the main character's name in the movie 'The French Connection,' Popeye Doyle? That's a good tidbit alone, but then I found out even more, including how Colorado fits into the picture of Kentucky Fried Chicken conquering America's dinner table.
Kentucky Fried Chicken techically began in Utah in 1952, even though Harlan Sanders was from Kentucky, and really started to take off in the mid-late '50s as franchises started opening up.
One day in 1957, as the story goes, Colonel Sanders got a call from one of the franchisees about a 'pickle' he was in. For whatever reason (mostly because they were a great deal,) this franchisee had bought 500 cardboard buckets from a traveling salesman, that he didn't know what to do with.
That was one good salesman if you ask me. This man didn't have any idea of what to do with just one cardboard bucket but dang it, he bought 500 of them, anyway.
This franchisee called up Sanders and told him about his purchase; Sanders, in turn, called up his very first franchisee back in Utah, Pete Harman, about the buckets. Harmann basically said, 'challenge, accepted.'
So Herman was given the buckets, and he ended up putting meals into them, and 'A Bucket of Chicken' was born. 14 pieces of chicken with biscuits and gravy for $3.50; that's $30 in today's money.
That franchisee who bought the 500 buckets for no reason? He was located in Denver, Colorado.
I wonder if he ever got a 'piece of the action' for his buckets? Probably not.
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