BEA Spotlight: How KFC Reimagined the Quick-Serve Experience - Retail Innovation Conference & Expo

BEA Spotlight: How KFC Reimagined the Quick-Serve Experience

Who doesn’t love the colonel?! From its quirky marketing strategies to its unforgettable activations, KFC has turned its beloved mascot, Colonel Sanders, into a phenomenon. As the QSR brand has pushed creative limits online, it has been able to push creative limits for its physical spaces.  
That’s why KFC implemented a Next-Gen design that elevated the brand identity and better reflected evolving guest behaviors and expectations. The brand was recognized for its emphasis on agility and digital connectivity with the 2022 Brand Experience Awards (BEA) and was named a winner for the Store Design & Experiential Retail category.  
Many brands, retailers and restaurants are closely assessing the effectiveness of their physical spaces. While they want to create experiences that are immersive and align with what makes their brand unique, they also want to ensure that customers and employees can move through the space efficiently. KFC was able to strike this balance perfectly. The Next-Gen design is elastic, allowing it to evolve and adapt into various restaurant formats over time. But the current experience includes a more efficient kitchen design, as well as an elevated dining and drive-thru experience. The concept considers new service channels including online orders, delivery aggregators and Quick Pick-Up, so all visitors can get in and out easily.  
KFC collaborated with NELSON Worldwide on the new concept, and brought in team members from design, marketing, operations and digital groups to bring the vision to life. This helped ensure that the entire customer experience was considered and that digital elements were integrated into the design from the beginning. 
Some key elements of the new store concept include:  

  • A smaller format: An urban inline format is compact and modular.  
  • Optimized brand visibility: Locations can be seen from every access point and crisp, branded signage guides customers around the drive-thru and into the restaurant.  
  • Unique space for online orders: A separate lobby and dedicated parking bays for online orders keeps customers moving swiftly through the experience.  

Congrats again to KFC and all the other companies spotlighted in our Brand Experience Awards! See the other brands that are innovating across all channels by checking out our 2022 awards report.  

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