Fast Food Hit-Or-Miss Technology

KFC Releases Its Own Smartphones To Celebrate 30th Anniversary In China

KFC could be out to prove itself the most tech savvy chicken joint in the world by going all-out for its 30th anniversary in China. It’s no secret KFC has been at the forefront of innovative items, like the phone charging Watt-A-Box meal deal or their edible finger nail polish — that actually tasted like chicken.

Now, KFC has announced that it is selling 5,000 units of a new, limited edition 30th Anniversary Colonel Sanders themed smartphone, that some are dubbing, “KFC’s iPhone Killer.

In celebration of KFC’s arrival to China back in 1987, the YumBrands! chicken giant has partnered with Huawei Mobile — a Chinese telecommunications company also founded in 1987 — to announce a smart phone already being sold online, at KFC “TMall” retailer for 1099 yuan, or $161.90 USD, according to the KFC Weibo page.

The Huawei X Kentucky Fried Chicken 30th Anniversary Phone is a, “limited edition line of Huawei [Enjoy] 7 Plus,” according to Fortune. The bright red device has a laser cut image of Colonel Sanders on the back along with the year “1987.” The phone features a 5.5-inch touchscreen, with 720 x 1290 pixels, along with Android 7 software.

The special anniversary device comes with a preinstalled version of the Kentucky Super App.  While it’s still a bit unclear what the Kentucky Super App is, the video, which was posted by Branding In Asia, shows users controlling the music inside KFC locations, which seems cool.

KFC is probably a long way from competing with Apple in terms of cellular devices, but there’s no question who makes the better chicken. However, this limited time release raises the bar on what should be expected from KFC, and other fast-casual eateries in the future.

Happy 30th KFC China, you’ve earned it.

Fast Food

KFC’s New Meal Box Will Actually Charge Your Phone While You’re Eating

KFC has been very experimental in 2016. From tweeting a NSFW ad that obviously conceptualized a dude getting a hand job on a couch, to developing a line of edible nail polish that actually tasted like chicken, KFC’s been bringing the heat. With that said, KFC’s newest item is even more outside the box.

Well, actually, it is the box.

Aptly titled, Watt-A-Box, KFC India’s newest limited edition item is a 5-in-1 box featuring a chicken sandwich, a few chicken strips, a side, a beverage — and a phone charger. Yes, a phone charger.

The box has a USB port on the side and it supports both Android and iPhone smartphones, however, its reliability has already been questioned in various reports, stating that charger can’t hold a true charge.


Yum! Brands, KFC’s parent company, probably picked up the fact that no one talks to each other while having a meal together anymore.

That’s so 2015.

So in order to avoid any awkward silences or just to make sure KFC guests now have the opportunity to keep Snapchatting, or posting their KFC meals to Instagram. At least that was KFC’s plan.

Apparently, battery loss is a huge issue in the Indian community.

Featured image: KFC Youtube

Fast Food

Taco Bell Is Finally Opening A Restaurant In China


China is finally getting a Taco Bell.

Executives from parent company Yum! Brands Inc. said Tuesday that the first location is set to open by the end of the year in Shanghai. According to NRN, sister brands KFC and Pizza Hut have done pretty well in the country and it seems like Taco Bell will finally have a turn.

Yum Brands CEO Greg Creed says this will be the beginning of a huge potential for China.

The majority of Taco Bell’s 6,400 restaurants are in the United States. With the introduction to China, Yum hopes to expand the brand even further.

Operations in China will be spearheaded by a separate company called New Yum.

Photo: Taco Bell Facebook

Fast Food

Pizza Hut’s Major Revamp Hasn’t Really Helped Sales


Last year, Pizza Hut decided they needed some change. In what could be considered the pizza chain’s biggest makeover, Pizza Hut redesigned its menus, logo and social presence to appeal to a larger audience. These included a curry-flavored crust, honey sriracha drizzle and many new toppings.

Turns out, it didn’t help much.

According to the chain’s largest franchisees, NPC International, sales are less than phenomenal. Entrepreneur reports, the company faced a net loss of $100,000 in the fourth quarter and sales fell 3.5 percent compared to the year before.

Pizza Hut’s lackluster sales can be attributed to a scarce awareness with the company’s ‘Flavor of Now’ branding, says NPC CEO Jim Schwartz..

Yum Brands, parent company to Pizza Hut, has also been disappointed with sales. While the numbers were pretty flat, they did mention that customers have been responding well to the new menu changes.

It appears Pizza Hut has no current plans to return to their old model. The company will continue to push its new image even further to improve future sales.

Fast Food

Taco Bell Declares First Step in World Domination With Plans to Construct 1,300 Global Locations


Americans can hardly go a day or two without someone bringing up Taco Bell. In the last few years, the fast food chain has blown up with the release of their Doritos Locos Tacos and redefined bathroom trips with its breakfast waffle tacos. Naturally, expansion was inevitable.

Taco Bell Inc. announced Thursday that they have plans to build 1,300 locations overseas.

With so many Taco Bells in the US, we just assumed they were just as plenty around the world. However, only about 250 international stores exist currently. That’s roughly the same number of stores as in the state of Georgia.

The addition of the proposed 1,300 stores will be a huge expansion for the brand. Taco Bell currently has 5,800 units within the US, opening 200 stores in 2014 alone. The new international stores will add an extra $2 billion in sales annually, said the company.

Parent company Yum Brands has plans to shift Taco Bell’s domestic focus to align with their other fast food babies, KFC and Pizza Hut, which have thousands of restaurants around the world.

That’s a lot of DLTs.

h/t NRN Picthx Taco Bell

Fast Food

Taco Bell Parent Brand Opens Bougie Vietnamese Fast Food, Calls Pho ‘Chicken Soup’


Up until now, good Vietnamese restaurants have been notoriously frill-free. There’s very little effort spent appeasing guests with friendly waiters or even translated menus. You go, you enjoy the kaleidoscopic medleys of rice noodles, pickled carrots, basil, and proteins wrapped in rice paper or steeped in broth, you pay, and you leave.

Well folks, it seems we’re finally ready to give Vietnamese food the Panda Express treatment. Say hello to the Banh Shop.

With its first location opening this Friday in Dallas, Texas, the Banh Shop is Yum Brand’s ambiguously authentic yet ambiguously new age take on all that is mainstream Vietnamese food, from banh mi sandwiches to bun (dry noodle salads) to pho. Except they don’t really call it pho. Nope, they’re calling it “Vietnamese-Style Chicken Soup.” Gag me with an Asian soup spoon.


Everything on the menu has been neatly repackaged (read: dumbed down and hipster-ed up) for the Insta- generation. Rather than plain photos of sandwiches identified solely by their protein (beef, pork), guests will find “Grilled Steak” on the menu, along with trendy flowery descriptions like “sliced and char-grilled with honey caramel glaze” and “cucumber-cilantro aioli”; or the “Breakfast All Day,” a two egg omelet sandwich with “ground seasoned pork & sliced smoked ham, with ribbon-cut cucumber & cilantro; with honey-garlic aioli.”

There are also spring rolls, “Wok’d” rice and noodle bowls, pho as we’ve said, bun, a salad, a kind of Vietnamese eloté dressed with coconut milk, butter, and fish sauce, Vietnamese iced coffee, a ginger margarita, a passion fruit colada, and craft beers.


We should note that this is all a gripe over form — the food could taste perfectly amazing. Last month, we ventured to Yum Brand’s other new Americana, travel, and fusion-inspired venture, U.S. Taco Co., and were moderately impressed. But you have to admit that when the “authentic street food” aesthetic can be commoditized by the same brand who runs Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, it’s probably kind of sort of okay way, way overdone.

We’d rather take one of these places any day.

Fast Food

The Company Behind Taco Bell is Making a Banh Mi Sandwich, Really


Yum! Brands (what a name!) — the parent company behind Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut — has its eyes set on creating the next mega chain of Vietnamese eats, starting with banh mi sandwiches. Although the company has been hush hush about the curious “Banh Shop,” EscapeHatchDallas reports that the restaurant will occupy what was once an auto repair shop in Dallas.

The move follows the opening of Super Chix, a new concept testing in Arlington, Texas that effectively declared war on Chick-fil-A after claiming to serve “the last true chicken sandwich”.

While we fear the idea of a DLT-flavored banh mi bun stuffed with cheetos (please please no), we’ve got to hand to the fast food Goliath’s ambition.


Fast Food

Yum! Brands Sells A&W and Long John Silver’s Restaurants

Yum! Brands Inc. has agreed to sell its A&W and Long John Silver’s Restaurants to two different companies in efforts to put their focus on their other brands. Known to most as the company behind KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, Yum!’s chief executive, David C. Novak states that the two restaurants “no longer fit our long-term growth strategy.” Although the prices behind the sales have not been disclosed, we do know that A&J has been acquired by A Great American Brand, and Long John Silver’s will be going to LJS Partners LLC.

THX: DealBook