KFC is undoubtedly one of the most successful fast-food restaurant franchises in the world.

The friend chicken giant has gone from a backroom at a fuel station in the middle of nowhere, to a huge worldwide fast food restaurant.

Today it has a massive global presence and its food is enjoyed by millions of people every day.

But how did it start out and where is it going in the future? 


Kentucky Fried Chicken, which is now known as KFC, was incorporated in 1955 by Col. Harland Sanders in Corbin, Kentucky.

But its story began a little before then.

Sanders was born in 1890.

Then at the age of 12, he left home to work as a farmhand.

When he was 15, he left the farm to work a load of jobs with mixed success.

His jobs included a painter, railroad fireman, plowman, streetcar conductor, ferryboat operator, insurance salesman, justice of the peace, and service-station operator.

Then in 1929,  he opened his own gas station in Corbin, Kentucky.

There, he cooked for his family and the occasional customer in the back room. 

Sanders used to enjoy using the recipes his mother taught him to make pan-fried chicken, country ham, fresh vegetables, and homemade biscuits – these are just a few.

It turned out he had a talent for cooking and news began to spread across the county about the food.

This allowed him to open a 142-seat restaurant and motel nearby called “The Harland Sanders Court and Cafe”.

Then by 1936, he was honored with the title of “Kentucky Colonel” by the state’s governor. 

Sanders managed to ace a method of speeding up the cooking process for his chicken – pressure cooking.

This reduced the time needed to cook his chicken while still keeping the quality of the food. 

Things were going extremely well and he even got an endorsement in “Duncan Hines Adventures in Good Eating” in 1939. 

In the early-1940s, he managed to perfect his Original Recipe of 11 herbs and spices.

This has never been revealed to the public but was made of ingredients that “stand on everybody’s shelf”. 

The start of the Second World War and gas rationing forced him to shut shop as tourism dropped off.

The motel and cafe carried on and after a brief uptick post-war, the planned construction of Interstate 75 in the 1950s threatened the future viability of his business. 

This led to Col. Sanders selling up and travelling the US to franchise his recipe to other restaurant owners.

Then KFC, as we know it today, was born.

There are now 3,975 KFC branches in the US and more than 25,000 in the world.

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