KFC‘s Israel comeback: Will the Colonel’s chicken fly this time?

JERUSALEM — KFC is planning to bring the Colonel’s secret fried chicken recipe back to Israel.

Representatives of the chain belonging to the Yum restaurant group have met in Israel with several potential franchisees and real estate agents while launching negotiations with poultry suppliers, the Hebrew-language business daily Calcalist reported. A delegation of 10 KFC representatives was in Israel last week, according to the report.

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KFC plans to open 100 branches in Israel within five years of its return, the Calcalist reported.

Israel Hayom reported that KFC said in a statement this week: “We are very optimistic about the Israeli market and we strongly believe in the success of the network here. We are now in the process of planning the re-launch in Israel. We can give further details later.”

No date has been announced for a KFC relaunch.

KFC first opened in Israel in 1993 and lasted until 2013, with up to 10 locations during that time, while the franchise changed hands twice.  There are 700 KFC outlets, all halal certified, in Arab countries including the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. There also are outlets in four cities in the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

KFC has had trouble reproducing the Colonel’s special recipe for a kosher clientele since it is milk-based. A soy-based substitute has been used in the past.

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The Yum group also owns Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

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