Chicken shortage forces KFC to close over half its UK restaurants

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Chicken shortage forces KFC to close over half its UK restaurants

A KFC restaurant in Coalville, Britain, is closed on February 19, 2016.
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Reuters/Darren Staples
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Fast-food chain KFC ruffled many of its British customers' feathers over the weekend after it was forced to close over half of its restaurants due to a shortage of chickens.

In a statement released on Twitter on Saturday, KFC tried to make light of the situation, writing: "The chicken crossed the road, just not to our restaurants," before blaming its new delivery partner DHL.

"We've brought a new delivery partner onboard, but they've had a couple teething problems — getting fresh chickens out to 900 restaurants across the country is pretty complex!"

The chain explained that while some branches were completely closed, others were operating with limited menus or shortened hours.

KFC chose to part ways with its long-term distribution partner, Bidvest, and enter in a three-way partnership with DHL and QSL back in November.

At the time, DHL said in a statement the new partnership would "'re-write the rule book" and set a new benchmark for delivering fresh products to KFC in a sustainable way."

But it was forced to apologise over the weekend, just a few days after their deal came into effect.

"Due to operational issues, a number of deliveries in recent days have been incomplete or delayed. We are working with our partners, KFC and QSL, to rectify the situation as a priority and apologise for any inconvenience," the delivery company said.

KFC aficionados took to social media to vent their frustration, tinged with classic British humour.

KFC has since launched a web page for customers to check whether their local branch was open. On Monday morning, only some 325 restaurants of the 900 were open.

On Tuesday morning, KFC was still unable to say when it would be able to operate as usual across its entire network.