Thursday, July 31, 2008
KFC pilots new product, films in Holly Springs
By SUE WATSON
An excited group of employees, a film crew, VIPs with West Quality Foods and some special cooks provided a taste testing of KFC’s new original chicken tenders Thursday in Holly Springs.
On hand for the tasting and answering some questions for the cameras were Holly Springs Mayor Andre’ DeBerry, Rust College President David Beckley, Barry Burleson and Lawrence White with The South Reporter and other guests.
Dick West, president of West Quality Foods, said the filming of the cooking and tasting of the new product is to be used for an internal communication video for franchisees and employees.
Colonel Sanders’ original recipe of 11 secret herbs and spices will be used to prepare KFC’s first boneless, skinless chicken ever put on the market at KFC.
West Quality Foods already has introduced the product in 10 of its stores. The chicken strips will be available in Holly Springs in late August. Then in September a Taco Bell will open in the Holly Springs store making it a KFC/Taco Bell and adding about 10 more jobs. About 10 more jobs will be created.
“It’s a tremendous roll-out,” West said. “Boneless, skinless strips will be the first product.”
He said other lines of the boneless original will be brought on line later, including a full-size filet and chicken sandwich using the original recipe.
The West Quality Group took about three months to perfect the process for the new strips, then the umbrella organization got wind of the idea and is talking about launching the new tenders nationwide. West said the film will be helpful in introducing the concept to KFC employees and store owners, a first step in the roll-out.
KFC’s film crew from Louisville, Kentucky, created the video.
“In the 56 years KFC has been in existence, we have never sold boneless chicken (in the original recipe),” West said. “It’s a whole new arena for KFC to move into. It's the gold standard; same original recipe chicken breast in a more portable form.”
KFC now sells crispy strips.
Although the colonel’s secrets remain secrets, West said the original recipe developed by Sanders over 50 years ago contained chicken dipped in 11 secret herbs and spices, then fried under pressure and precise oil to meat ratios used during the cooking process. A filtering process provides clean oil and a clean pot for every batch that is cooked, West said.
KFC is in its third location in Holly Springs; the first opened in April 1977. The current store has plenty of room to add Taco Bell, West said.
His son Mike and brother Tim helped plan for the remodeling necessary to expand the store.
The entire KFC menu and buffet will be retained.
West Quality Foods is a family owned business established 41 years ago and headquartered in Laurel.
Mayor DeBerry said the KFC in Holly Springs has always been a successful store and was the number one store in the region in sales for a long time.
Customers would, and still do, drive long distances to buy chicken at KFC in Holly Springs, he said.
Manager of the Holly Springs KFC is Sheran Brown.
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