7 Negatives for KFC Eleven – the new KFC fast casual concept

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KFC is the latest brand to jump onto the “fast casual” band wagon. Their new concept store, slated to open next week (August 5th), has been getting a ton of media attention online as it’s a large shift from the Kentucky Fried Chicken most of us grew up with. But, is this a good move for the brand?

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First, one has to look at the competitive brandscape as a Fried Chicken icon. You have everything from Bojangles to Church’s and then a ton of mom and pop’s competing in a stagnant culinary vertical. Meanwhile, brands like Atlanta Bread and Panera are exploding with the fresher, bistro-style concepts. It’s logical that KFC sees an opportunity.

But, there’s a big problem.

Instead of launching a new concept with a new brand and name, KFC has made a mistake and attached the restaurant concept to the KFC brand with the name, KFC Eleven. So, is this a good move for the company or no?

Here are 7 reasons why it’s not:

1. KFC’s brand is still attached meaning all the good AND the bad follow suit.

2. The new concept will poach the customer base from the former.

3. The points of differentiation are flimsy (see last question in this interview)

4. Although different from KFC, the concept looks like a Chipotle meets Boston Market ripoff even down to the logo treatment.

5. Market penetration is null as this will be the only KFC Eleven concept for at least one year.

6. KFC means fried chicken, not fresh produce.

7. The menu offering isn’t concise, there are rice bowls, flat breads, Asian inspired, Carribean inspired, etc. What is the concept? Chicken?

Checkout an in depth slideshow here »

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