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The KFC Story In the mid 1930s, Colonel Harland Sanders bought a motel and café in Corbin, Kentucky. Despite having tried his hand at several kinds of work – from railroading to operating a steam-powered ferryboat. Colonel Sanders loved to cook and was always experimenting with various combinations of seasonings. The Colonel then found a way to combine 11 herbs and spices with flour to create a finger lickin’ good coating. The Colonel’s business and reputation both flourished at a time when most businesses were struggling, but he was forced to sell his growing restaurant when a new Interstate Highway was built through his property. So at age of 66, Colonel Sanders found himself travelling the country with his special seasonings, his pressure-cooker and a new plan: franchises. The Colonel visited small, independent restaurants throughout the US to teach them not only how to cook Kentucky Fried Chicken, but also his values: despite taking just a five-cent royalty on every chicken sold, the Colonel would go into dining rooms and do what he called “Colonel-ing” – making sure that the customers were happy. With most of his deals sealed with only a handshake, there were 838 Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises across the United States by 1964. The Colonel was now in his 70s and Kentucky Fried Chicken had grown larger than he could realistically handle, so he sold the operation to businessmen John Y Brown Jr and Jack Massey for $2 million. But there were strict conditions: Colonel Sanders became Quality Controller and his image stayed on as the company trademark. Colonel Harland D Sanders was 90 years old when he died in December 1980. Although he is no longer with us, his philosophies and values of hard work and excellent customer service are, and will always be a part of KFC.
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