KFC has called back its long-time partner Bidvest Logistics to service about a third of its network, following its disastrous switch to DHL and Quick Service Logistics (QSL) last month.

Bidvest has won a new long-term deal to supply to up to 350 of KFC’s restaurants in the North of the UK from 26 March.

It will service them from its Royton, depot, near Oldham. A Bidvest spokeswoman said it will offer jobs to employees who lost their jobs when it was forced to close its Hoddesdon depot after KFC awarded the contract to DHL and QSL.

“We are delighted to welcome KFC back to Bidvest Logistics. As the UK’s leading foodservice logistics specialist, we understand the complexities of delivering fresh chicken,” said Bidvest Logistics business unit director Paul Whyte.

“KFC are a valued customer and we will provide them with a seamless return to our network.”

The fast-food chain had egg on its face after axing Bidvest in favour of DHL with QSL but when the new service went live on 14 February disaster struck and most of its 900 restaurants had to close for several days due to a lack of chicken.

“Our focus remains on ensuring our customers can enjoy our chicken without further disruption. With that in mind, the decision has been taken in conjunction with QSL and DHL to revert the distribution contract for up to 350 of our restaurants in the north of the UK back to Bidvest Logistics,” said a KFC spokesman.

”We’ve been working hard to resolve the present situation with QSL and DHL. This decision will ease pressure at DHL’s Rugby depot, to help get our restaurants back to normal as quickly as possible.

”As it stands, over 97% of our 900 restaurants are now open for business, although there will be some limited menus before we are back to business as usual.”