The Reason KFC Has A Different Name In Quebec

KFC founder Colonel Sanders may had have roots in Kentucky, but for the last 20 years of his life, he lived in Canada (via Mississauga News). Sanders' big move, however, wasn't part of a retirement plan, but rather a business one.

The official KFC website reports that after several years of success in Corbin, Kentucky, the location of the original KFC, Sanders decided to open franchises across the U.S. in 1952. By 1956, Sanders left Corbin, went on the road to oversee his restaurant's new franchises, and never looked back. Then KFC went international, and according to Mississauga News, in 1965, Sanders decided to move to Ontario to oversee Canadian operations. In the city of Mississauga where he lived, KFC was and is still called KFC. In fact, in the rest of Ontario and pretty much the rest of the world, it goes by its original name. There's only one exception: In Quebec, KFC goes by PFK, which stands for Poulet Frit Kentucky, or the French translation of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

KFC wasn't always called PFK in Quebec

Though Colonel Sanders moved to Canada in 1965, KFC actually opened its first franchise there 12 years prior, in 1953 (via KFC Canada). This was well before the French Language Charter was in place, which The New York Times reports was first passed in 1977. As part of government regulation to enforce French as the official language of Quebec, the law stated that "all large retailers serve customers in French and post signs that are predominately, or entirely, in French along their aisles," The New York Times explains. Though it had already done business in Canada for 24 years, KFC had no choice but to go by PFK in Quebec as well as update the language of the menus and ensure all their Quebec employees spoke to their customers in French.

In 2012, Quebec lifted this law, after six major American retailers (none of which were KFC) took Quebec to court and won. This means that PFK can technically go by KFC now. But since there are no reports of the company reinstating its original name, it seems the change hasn't affected KFC business in Quebec all that much.