Colonel Sander’s recipe may be a secret but that hasn’t stopped billions of KFC’s chicken dinners sold on an annual basis.
Today, the recipe is in more than 80 countries and territories in 18,000 different outlets -- an amazing feat for the founder of the chicken restaurant chain.
The franchise’s roots can be traced back to 1930, when Harland Sanders opened his first restaurant, Sanders Court & Cafe, in the front room of a gas station in Corbin, Ky.
His chicken dish, made of the same 11 herbs and spices served today, became so popular, Sanders was named an honorary colonel in 1936 for his impact on local cuisine. By 1952, KFC became a franchise, the first being in partnership with Pete Harman in Salt Lake City. The agreement, of the handshake variety, stated that the company would get a nickel for each chicken sold at the location.
Due to its massive global presence, KFC was acquired by PepsiCo. in 1986 and was later spun off into Yum! Brands, the parent company of other franchises including Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. Its brand recognition helped KFC land on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 at no. 41.