How Much More KFC Is Worth Since Colonel Sanders Sold It

As the result of all of Colonel Harland Sanders' hard work, KFC is a legitimate success story. Per the brand's official website, while Sanders began his journey by offering meals to travelers who were making a pitstop at the service station he was responsible for in 1930, his meals became so popular that by 1935, Sanders was famous. The governor honored him with a Kentucky Colonel title in 1935 and his popularity over the next few years prompted him to grow his business.

He then worked hard on making sure that his delicious blend of 11 herbs and spices was perfect for consumers, and by 1955, he felt good enough about his chicken meal to start his franchising business. In less than a decade, Sanders managed to come up with as many as 600 KFC franchises in America as well as Canada. In 1964, KFC was sold to high-profile investors, including John Y. Brown Jr., who later served as the governor of Kentucky.

KFC's value has only continued to grow

If current estimates are to be believed, KFC has only grown in popularity over the years. According to Forbes, the brand is now valued at $8.3 billion. It was declared to be one of the most valuable brands by Forbes in 2020, and there are around 22,600 outlets in 135 countries around the globe. Moreover, 99% of these outlets are franchised and the brand's parent company is now YUM! Brands, which is also responsible for other big names like Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. 

According to Business Insider, Colonel Harland Sanders was sad to let go of KFC when he decided to sell it at the age of 75, but he believed that it was a good decision for the sake of his company. He sold it for $2 million in January 1965 (per Business Insider's report, this was the 2015 equivalent of $15.1 million). The contract also stated that Colonel Sanders was to have a salary of $40,000 for the rest of his life. The number was later increased to $75,000. He also got a stake in KFC's Canadian outlets and occupied a seat on its board. And of course, he was also declared the brand ambassador of KFC.

That said, the difference in the amount Sanders was paid and its net worth today is staggering. Some of Sanders' close aides did think that he didn't get what he was worth, but the Colonel never tried to bargain or even claim the company's stocks.