KFC has announced that between now and the end of the year it will recruit for 5,400 jobs across its 965 restaurants in the UK and Ireland, despite what has been an extremely difficult year for the hospitality industry.
The news represents KFC’s continued positive outlook for the sector – since the start of lockdown, the fried chicken aficionados have continued hiring and have already employed over 4,300 new team members.
Paula MacKenzie, General Manager at KFC UK & Ireland: “There’s no denying it’s been a tough year for the hospitality sector, and we’re already seeing the substantial impact of that across our high streets and city centres. With new regional and national lockdowns coming into effect, it’s an uncertain time for many businesses – but due to the phenomenal support from our teams and fans, as well as the Governments of the UK and the Republic of Ireland, we’re really excited to be able to welcome over 5,000 new team members ahead of Christmas.
“The vast majority of our restaurants are run by franchisees, which are often smaller family owned businesses that have faced the unique set of challenges of this year, including the complete closure of restaurants in March – we’re proud to have been able to work together to reopen responsibly and in turn ensure the stability of our restaurants and provide new job openings into the industry at this time.”
KFC and its franchisees have taken a gradual and measured approach to reopening restaurants responsibly, in line with government guidelines. All restaurants now feature a range of measures – from restaurant capacity limits to screens – to ensure team members and guests are taken care of.
KFC’s intention is for the new job opportunities to be supported in part by the government’s Kickstart scheme, which helps employers create opportunities for 16 to 24 year olds who are at risk of long term unemployment.
Paul Scully MP, Minister for Small Business, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “There is no denying that this is a tough time for British workers, so we welcome this major investment in jobs, training and skills, especially for younger workers and those who may not have formal qualifications.
“It is great that iconic brands like KFC are continuing to grow and invest in the UK during this challenging time. We continue to support businesses of all shapes and sizes through this crisis with measures like the Kickstart scheme.”
KFC already has a longstanding commitment to providing a range of opportunities for those without formal qualifications. Already on offer at KFC are apprenticeships and educational partnerships with the likes of De Montfort University and Glasgow Caledonian University, which all help those who may have never considered higher education an opportunity to help break down barriers that may have been put up in front of them, through no fault of their own.
Paula MacKenzie concluded: “Like every good employer, we have a set of criteria for those looking to work at KFC – but it’s not necessarily about academic qualifications or previous formal training. What matters to us is personality, passion and dedication to the job. This year is going to be even more challenging for young people looking for job opportunities, but we know that all the skills the hospitality sector teaches – the importance of hard work, delivering great service and working as part of a team – will hugely help them in the long run. So, if you’re into great chicken, great people and supporting your local community, please do get in touch!”
Since 2015, the KFC Foundation has paid out over £5million in grants to charities and organisations that help young people seize and realise their full potential. The Foundation recently launched its first public call for applications for funding from local, grassroots organisations that are empowering young people in the UK and, through its work with Comic Relief, KFC hopes to have raise £3million by 2023.