When Derbyshire Live was invited behind the scenes at a busy KFC in Derby, we weren’t quite sure what to expect.
With the promise of an open kitchen experience, the chance to bread our own chicken, and the opportunity to try out some KFC, we popped down on a rainy Friday morning, raring to go.
We arrived shortly before the Sinfin restaurant was set to open, and watched while staff prepared for what would most likely be a busy day ahead.
While we only worked behind the scenes for one morning we managed to get a taste of, not only the chicken, but also what daily life is like for the 50 staff members on site.
There’s a lot to consider when putting together a KFC meal, most of it you wouldn’t even think of, so we’ve put together a list of six things you probably never knew happened behind the scenes at KFC.
1. Constant oven checks
Let’s face it, nobody wants food poisoning, but what’s even worse than getting it yourself is giving it to hundreds of people.
Luckily, the staff at KFC have this covered, and before opening, they cook some chicken in every oven and check its temperature.
This way they can ensure that everything in the kitchen is working as it should be.
The check takes place every day without fail.
2. Leave the accessories at home
Before we were allowed anywhere near the kitchen, all accessories needed to be removed – and yes we mean everything.
Be prepared to leave your rings, bracelets, ear-rings and nose rings in your bag, as the last thing anyone wants to find is a rogue piercing stud in their dinner.
Similar rules apply to nails, don’t bother lacquering on a coat of your favourite polish colour, because you’ll be asked to cover them up with a glamorous pair of blue plastic gloves.
While it will sadly cover up your lovely new manicure, it helps to prevent any nail polish chipping off into the breading flour while you’re working with the chicken.
3. Breading chicken is actually very complicated
Maybe we were being naïve, but breading chicken always seemed like a one-dip-and-done sort of job.
In fact, there’s a real art to creating the perfectly coated piece of meat, and many staff members have spent months or even years perfecting the technique.
Some KFC franchises even have a leader board for the staff to see who can prepare chicken the quickest.
We’re sure we’d be right at the bottom of that.
4. Vegan and non-vegan products share an assembly station
Before everyone panics, the chance of cross-contamination between the products is slim.
Each burger is assembled on the paper that it will be wrapped up in, meaning the contents never actually touch the prepping station.
The vegan burger is also packaged in green paper so you can be sure that it’s not going anywhere near animal products.
And don’t worry, vegan products are cooked up in separate ovens too.
5. Staff are seriously passionate about chicken
Some staff in the kitchen see breading chicken as their vocation, and have a deep love for putting together the perfect KFC meal.
David Potter, a cook at the new Sinfin franchise shared the story of how the allure of working at the fast food restaurant pulled him back in.
When he left the American company for another job, he said he, “couldn’t get KFC out of his mind”.
The pull was too much and David eventually returned to work at the chain.