“It’s not rocket science, it’s chicken and chips” trills one member of the KFC workforce in tonight’s first visit behind-the-scenes in BBC documentary The Billion Dollar Chicken Shop. Chicken and chips it may be, but it’s chicken and chips that’s turning over £1billion (clue was in the name) each year in the UK.
From details of that secret recipe to the highs and lows of being one of the brand’s 24,000-strong team, there’s plenty to get your teeth into in this opening episode:
Beth, a 17-year-old KFC front-liner in Manchester’s Denton Rock branch is a treat to watch. She knows the highs of the job – they want to clone her as she’s so good at convincing people to add extra to their meals – and as for the lows, she knows what hunger does to people: “If you were queuing for a roller coaster, you’d wait an hour,” says Beth. “Here, customers wouldn’t wait an hour, they’d probably torch the place.”
The truth behind that secret recipe:
Put your pens away, you’re not going to learn what those secret eleven spices are. But you do get some interesting nuggets of info, including the fact that those that do know the recipe aren’t able to travel on the same plane together.
The staff have brilliant comedic timing: “I like that element of danger that I might die tonight,” laughs 23-year-old Glasgow-based Rico who works shifts until 5am. “That brings a new dimension to the job.”
If you had to have excellence reviews on your work, it’s Brian you’d want doing them. Done something wrong? He’ll kill you with kindness until it’s sorted out. He wakes up insisting it will be a good day and he damn well gets a good day.
A handy new saying:
As an added bonus, The Billion Dollar Chicken Shop introduces us to a new way to swear about the weather. After finding out whether or not he’s managed to stop a new branch opening opposite his house in Middleton, retired engineer John hits us with this beauty:
“I’ll just help Jim get this furniture in before it persists it down.” Marvellous.
The Billion Dollar Chicken Shop starts tonight at 9:00pm on BBC1