If KFC is one of your favorite places to get your fast-food fix, you’ll want to read on to discover behind-the-scenes secrets from former employees. Several KFC employees (including managers and fry cooks) have spilled their insider knowledge in Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) conversations, and they’ve discussed everything from the fried chicken to the mashed potatoes and the hourly wages.
The fried chicken is NOT frozen – it’s hand breaded and fried.
Serious fans of KFC’s famous fried chicken will be delighted to hear that the chicken is as fresh as you’d hope. One KFC fry cook who spent many days cooking the chicken said, “No chicken is ever frozen. It is delivered fresh and stuck in a fridge where it will remain fresh for a certain amount of time. We take the chicken from the fridge, bread it (original or crispy), and fry it.” You can even see the process of how KFC makes its chicken from start to finish. You can also make copycat KFC fried chicken with the alleged leaked recipe.
But the biscuits are frozen.
One employee revealed, “The buttermilk biscuits are delivered frozen in cases. We lay them out on trays and stick them in the oven for 20 minutes. So no, sadly we do not make them ourselves.”
The mashed potatoes and gravy are both made from powder packets.
When referring to KFC’s gravy, one employee said, “It is a powder that comes in bags.” However, some KFC locations use the drippings and crispy bits from the fried chicken to add more flavor to the gravy and then strain out the lumpy parts. “The gravy is poured through a strainer to get all of the lumps out, and the potato is powered instant potato,” one employee said.
Managers get paid well.
When someone asked the manager how much money he makes at KFC, he responded, “For a fast food worker, not too bad. More than $15 but less than $20 (it varies whether I’m working a normal team member shift or a manager shift).”
You can ask for a deep-fried biscuit.
OK, maybe not all locations can accommodate this request, but it’s worth trying if you want to switch things up. One employee said, “Something we often do during slow times is deep fry the biscuits. We thaw them then toss them in an open fryer for five minutes. They turn out like doughnuts and go good with anything. You can spread butter and honey on them, or chocolate and ice cream, or even eat them plain. We really should have deep fried biscuits on the menu.”
Running out of chicken is common.
One thing that employees wish customers would understand is that running out of chicken is common, and sometimes you’ll have to wait. After all, it is freshly breaded and fried, and sometimes it’s hard to keep up with demand during busy times. An employee explained, “I don’t think the average KFC customer understands that we do not ALWAYS have an infinite amount of chicken on hand. We can cook a maximum of 48 pieces of Original Recipe at once in one fryer and a maximum of 32 pieces of Crispy Recipe at once in one fryer. We only have three fryers and it takes about 30 minutes to drop chicken in all three fryers and have it ready to serve. So when we sell three 20 pieces in a row, it is not unlikely that the next person will get all pissed because they have a 20 minute wait on fresh chicken. So I think the average KFC customer should understand that running out of chicken isn’t always our fault. We can’t predict when we’re going to sell a bunch of huge meals at once.”
KFC throws out unsold food at the end of the day.
Because of food safety rules related to fresh meat and prepared foods, KFC gets rid of unsold food at the end of each day. An employee explained, “Everything that doesn’t sell is thrown out! But we have holding times on everything, so if it’s not sold within a specified time it’s thrown (the holding time changes for each product). So product is constantly cooked through out the day; this is why sometimes there a wait or we run out late at night.”
But sometimes leftover chicken is used for the pot pies.
“Pot pies are made with chicken leftover after close. The chicken is deboned and shredded by hand. The chicken is separated into bags. The pot pies get made throughout the day as needed. We take a pie tin, scoop a mix of sauce/vegetables add chicken and put a flat frozen top on it.”