Yes, that's right. Not only is the whole country being offered a free piece of Kentucky Grilled Chicken today (Monday, April 27, aka UNFry Day), but Southern Californians are also benefitting from a further deal: buy an eight-piece or larger KFC meal from May 4 to May 31 and you'll receive four free KGC pieces (drumsticks/thighs). That's a lot of bird.
The deals come at a tricky time for the company. Last week, Yum Brands, which owns KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, announced a 14 per cent drop in profits for the first quarter of 2009, apparently partly due to the fact we're cooking at home more than before.
So the launch of the new grilled chicken, with less fat and sodium and fewer calories (and fewer herbs and spices) than the traditional fried version, could be a timely move that lures in a new breed of customers.
But why single out SoCal? According to the peeps at KFC's Louisville HQ, "Health-conscious Southern California is ground zero in the grilled chicken movement."
For some reason, the same logic doesn't apply to San Diego and Palm Springs, areas that are being left out of the four-piece deal. (Or maybe they eat so much damn chicken that they'd bankrupt the company if they were included).
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Of course, the buzz surrounding KFC's new menu hasn't gone unnoticed by Orange County's own El Pollo Loco. Tomorrow, Tuesday April 28, they're running a pretty generous "Taste the Fire" freebie, comprising a flame-grilled leg, a flame-grilled thigh, two tortillas and fresh salsa. The deal runs out at 8pm and doesn't apply to delivery or drive-thru. As with all offers, some locations may choose to opt out.
In terms of calories and saturated fat content, the KGC and El Pollo Loco are virtually identical on some items. Take a chicken breast (the skinless one at EPL): there's just one calorie separating them.
So where will I be getting my chicken fix? Both places, although I'm not sure I can forgive KFC for what might be the most annoying promo website ever.
First, there's the gibberish tagline ("It's Time To Unthink How You Get Your Grill On"), but it's the "wacky characters" that do my head in. Check out the woman in the orange shirt--don't you just want to punch her through the screen? And don't even get me started on the preppy twins.