The Time UK KFC's Ran Out Of Chicken (And The Hysterical Ad That Won Fans Back)

Shortages, albeit annoying, affect every restaurant at some point or another. Sauces, side items, and ingredients here or there are usually not a huge deal if resolved quickly enough. However, the situation takes a turn for the worst when fast food establishments run out of the products that define them as a brand.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Taco Bell faced shortages of some of the most essential items on the menu: beef, chicken, 10-inch tortillas, and hot sauce, per CBS News. This eliminated a slew of orderable items, and, face it. What's a taco without some type of meat?

Similarly, Buffalo Wild Wings had issues keeping chicken products in stock in 2021. In a tweet responding to an upset fan, the brand admitted to the shortage and promised to be working on a solution. "We're sorry about running out of wings. It's been a busy few weeks, and many of our sports bars have a limited supply. We're working to get more in stock," the tweet read in part.

The coronavirus pandemic may have been largely to blame for these shortages, but years before COVID came on the scene, KFC faced a similar struggle in the United Kingdom.

A f*k-it bucket saved the day

In early 2018, 600 UK KFC restaurants were forced to close after running out of its namesake: chicken. According to The Sun, the problem resulted from a switch in delivery companies, causing the food supply in the country's 900 stores to drain until the well ran dry. Some stores tried to remain open without serving chicken, but we can't imagine that being a super profitable decision. The name of the eatery is, in fact, an acronym for Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The Kentucky-based fast casual food joint quickly redeemed itself with an enthralling message on social media. In a Twitter post, the brand wrote "The chicken crossed the road, just not to our restaurants."

That was only the beginning of the apology tour, as an ad originally released in The Sun (and later shared by fans on Twitter) had customers forgiving the restaurant in record-breaking time. In the ad, the letters KFC were replaced by FCK as a way to admit the mess up.

Shared on social media by users likeĀ @itsjamesherring, the ad had commenters cracking up. "Apology totally accepted," one comment read, per The Sun. "Possibly the best apology ad ever," wrote another. This goes to show that when mistakes are made, the correct response can always save the day.