Booker catering warehouse

KFC, still struggling with its new distribution arrangements, has given its franchisees freedom to purchase items from Booker that they cannot source from its official partners, DHL and Quick Service Logistics (QSL).

The Yum Brands-owned fast food giant said 97% of restaurants were now open after most of the chain was forced to shut at the height of the crisis last week.

New logistics partners DHL and QSL, however, were still “working through the distribution challenges”, and disruption to “some restaurants” might continue, a KFC spokesman said.

He added KFC had given restaurants permission to buy items from a pre-approved list directly from Booker “if necessary”. Uptake had been limited as disruption continued to diminish, he said. “Our entire focus remains on getting back up and running to 100% so our customers can enjoy our chicken.”

However, the chain has now warned it is also running low on its gravy.

“Booker is servicing franchisees directly in the short term with ambient goods from a pre-approved list on an as-needed-basis; we are not supplying chicken or chips,” said a Booker spokeswoman.