Kentucky Fried Chicken is a chain of fast food restaurants that specializes in fried chicken and has maintained that focus for over 86 years. Founded in 1930 by Harland Sanders, Kentucky Fried Chicken began as an entrepreneurial venture when Sanders started selling fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in Kentucky during the Great Depression.
As Sanders’ business grew, he remained unhappy with how long it took to fry the chicken in an iron frying pan, but he didn’t want to deep fry the chicken as he felt it took away from the quality. He discovered a way to modify a pressure cooker in order to fry his chicken, and the rest is history.
He franchised his business in 1952 and branded himself as Colonel Sanders, becoming a well-known cultural figure that is still used in marketing and advertising for the company to this day. Colonel Sanders used his very own recipe for the pressure cooker fried chicken which is a combination of 11 different herbs and spices. This recipe has long since been a trade secret and only a few people know what it actually involves. As the company rapidly expanded, it proved to be too much for the aging Sanders, so in 1964 he sold it to a group of investors.
As of 2015, there were close to 20,000 Kentucky Fried Chicken locations around the world, serving in 123 different countries. Their annual revenue was more than $23 billion. In order to continue the forward and positive direction the company was following, KFC established the Kentucky Fried Chicken Foundation, an organization that would help students and employees through education, donations, and community service.
The Kentucky Fried Chicken Foundation has contributed over $14 million in scholarships throughout its rich history and has helped more than 2,600 students pursue their dreams of higher education. To further its commitment to education even more, the Foundation launched the KFC Family Fund, following through on its promise to support and inspire all KFC restaurant employees. The REACH Educational Grant Program was started in order to help KFC restaurant employees achieve their goals of continuing their educations through college tuition assistance.
Through grants that range from $2,000 to $2,500, the Foundation is able to help alleviate some of the financial burdens that often face individuals and families. The scholarship can be used towards any accredited two-year or four-year college or university, as well as any trade or vocational school. In order to be eligible for this award, the applicant must be a current hourly Team Member or Shift Supervisor at a participating Kentucky Fried Chicken in the United States. They must have worked at KFC for at least six months at the time of application and also be enrolled in a higher education program and be planning to attend in the fall.