KFC Corporation, based in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the few brands in America that can boast a rich, decades-long history of success and innovation. It all started with one cook who created a soon-to-be world-famous recipe, a list of secret herbs and spices scratched out on the back of the door to his kitchen. Over the past 70 years, that one fried chicken recipe evolved into a crowded menu of items.

In fact, KFC’s menu was so complex it was leaving customers frustrated with the ordering process. This situation led KFC to embark on a journey to menu simplification. The goal was to enhance the guest experience, while maintaining (or increasing!) profitability.  KFC partnered with SKIM to understand guests’ menu choices and determine the potential for a significant reduction in menu items. The research project included a complex choice-based conjoint analysis, coupled with a TURF analysis.

Armed with the initial results, KFC was ready to validate the research findings in-market? How would they stand up to guest’s real choices in restaurants during the pilot program. After rigorous validation process, including building internal and franchisee buy-in over a year and a half, KFC finally had the answer – its secret recipe for menu optimization.

At TMRE 2019, we shared the research design and analysis behind KFC’s menu optimization process: from research findings to nationwide implementation.

Attendees learned:

  • Operational and guest benefits of menu optimization
  • How can a realistic menu design be tested and validated?
  • How to account for future innovations in current menu optimization research
  • How did KFC socialize the research results?
  • Why was test-market data needed to move to a nationwide rollout?
  • How will KFC explore menu changes in the future?

Session Info

Date: Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019
Time: 12.00 – 12.45 pm
Location: TRACK 4: Innovation & Future Growth, The Mirage, Las Vegas

  • Brittany Wilson – Senior Manager, Consumer Insights, KFC
  • Bill Salokar – VP, Client Solutions, SKIM