Success Begins at Sixty: A Biography of the Founder of KFC

Best known for founding the fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken, Colonel Harland David Sandars was born in 1890, in Indiana State in the United States. His father died when he was just six years old. The mother had to go out for work to sustenance her family. So the elder brother, Sandars, had to look after and feed his brother and little sister. Sanders had learnt how to cook using his mother’s Recipe. At the age of seven, he managed to cook many delicious dishes, especially fried chicken. Beginning at the age of 10 he held down numerous jobs.

At the age of 40, colonel Sandars was running a service station in Kentucky, he was cooking fried chicken to the travelers, his customers used to sit in his bed room. Step by step, his reputation started to increase, people began to come to the station just to eat his chicken. Eventually, he moved his operation to a restaurant across the streets, and featured a fried chicken.

Over 9 years, Sandars managed to master the art of cooking fried chicken and created his secret recipe which depends on mixing 9 different spices that give the chicken its taste till today, notable that he was named a Kentucky colonel in 1935.

In 1952, Sandars was exposed to a crisis, his restaurant closed as a result of turning the road that passes through the city. He forced to sell what he had to the auction in order to pay his bills. He also had to retire to live on the pension, he was then 65 years old. This old man wasn’t ready yet to retire, so Sanders devoted himself to franchising his chicken business. He traveled across the country, cooking batches of chicken from restaurant to restaurant, striking deals that paid him a nickel for every chicken the restaurant sold. His first franchise sale went to Pete Harman of Salt Lake City.

In 1964, with more than 600 franchised outlets, he sold his interest in the company for $2 million to a group of investors. The company’s growth increased rapidly under their leadership. In 1991 PepsiCo, Inc. acquired KFC for approximately $840 million.

Sanders continued to visit the KFC restaurants around the world as a spokesman in his later years. He died of leukemia on December 16, 1980, at the age of 90, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Through a miserable childhood, he learnt how to cook. Colonel Sandars was very confident in his product and his recipe which made him succeed. He never sank into despair at a time when no one could blame him if he did.

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This Post is posted by Mohamed Hassan

An IEEE AlexSB Volunteer, R&P Committee.

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