Finger Lickin' Good - The Entrepreneurial Success Story: Colonel Harland Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken

Published in Inspiration

SimplyBestWebsites.Com - Blog

Think of a KFC restaurant. What images come to mind? The red and white striped bucket, the crisp juicy chicken, and Colonel Sanders. The image of the Kentucky gentleman with his signature goatee, crisp white shirt, and black ribbon tie is universally recognized around the world. Was this man born into a life of luxury? Absolutely not.

Harland David Sanders was born September 9, 1890. When he was just six years old, his father died. Harland quickly became the man of the house. He helped look after his brother and sisters. He also learned how to cook. At the age of 10, Harland got his first job, working on a farm. From there he went on to do other odd jobs such as working on the railroad and a ferry. He had a troublesome work history, never lasting long at any one job, because he got in so many fights. He served in the military and tried various get rich quick schemes, but had very little success.

At the age of 40, Sanders was working as the manager of a service station in Kentucky. Not only did he provide fuel for their vehicles, but Sanders fed the hungry travelers. One of his most requested meals was fried chicken. In 1935, Governor Ruby Laftoon of Kentucky sampled some of Sander's chicken. He liked it so much that he named Sanders as the Colonel of Kentucky. The name stuck and the chicken sales grew.

Colonel Sanders entrepreneurial success story continued as he moved from the service station to an out of business restaurant down the road. There, he perfected his chicken recipe, and people came for miles to taste the Kentucky fried chicken. The restaurant did a booming business until 1952 when a new highway rerouted traffic and sales dwindled. Not one to give up, Sanders took his chicken recipe and hit the road.

Traveling all over the United States, Colonel Sanders stopped at every little restaurant he could find, offering the owners an opportunity to sell his famous fried chicken. One thousand times he was told no, but he kept trying. After 1009 no's, he finally got a yes from a restaurant in Salt Lake City. On a handshake deal, Sanders and the restaurant's owner made a deal. For every piece of chicken sold, Sanders would receive a nickel. In exchange, the restaurant owner would receive pre-measured packets of the 11 herbs and spices required to be sure the restaurant prepared the chicken just like Sanders had. Soon, more restaurants made deals and Kentucky Fried Chicken grew.

In 1964 Colonel Harland Sanders sold his shares of Kentucky Fried Chicken to a group of investors for $2 million. Sanders agreed to remain as spokesman for the company, appearing in commercials and photo shoots and uttering those famous words, "It's finger lickin' good". In 1969, Kentucky Fried Chicken shares went public and the company became an instant success. By 1971 there were over 3,500 Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurants worth over $285 million. Today, the worldwide corporation PEPSICO owns the rights to KFC. There are now over 20,000 Kentucky Fried Chicken locations in 118 countries. The smiling face of Colonel Sanders is recognized in every country.

A troubled youth, with a terrible track record, Harland Sanders could have kept jumping from job to job. Instead, he found his niche and stuck to it. Even though he passed away in 1980, at the age of 90, Colonel Sanders will always be synonymous with Kentucky Fried Chicken. Even now, the fictional character of the colonel has been resurrected in a new series of commercials for KFC.

A penny for your thoughts!

{"dberror":"SQLSTATE[HY000] [1045] Access denied for user 'sbwzcomSprkxx18'@'localhost' (using password: YES)"}