Christmas 2021: KFC – America’s largest fast food restaurant brimming with traditions of Japanese culture. special meals from the common kitchen.
Christmas Eve is celebrated with great grandeur and pomp throughout Japan. And in the midst of it all, it’s the practice of going out with the family at night to the nearest KFC outlet and having a hearty meal that everyone is looking forward to.
Dating back to the 1970s, KFC has always experienced the busiest day in its outlets in Japan on Christmas Eve. They typically see around 10 times more customers than normal each year and the numbers are constantly changing.
With only one percent of the total population of Japan believing in Christianity, Christmas celebrations are very important in the country. Over time, the Japanese people have given their own touch to the festive celebrations. Besides KFC meals, baking strawberry cake and having a romantic date with the special is also a way to celebrate the holiday season.
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However, the original story of how the Japanese began to develop their fondness for crispy chicken has several versions. It is believed that Takeshi Okawara, the first manager of the KFC outlet in Japan, marketed chicken as a traditional American Christmas dish, quite misleadingly. He was then CEO of KFC Japan. Another version of the story goes that a delivery boy once donned a Santa outfit and made quite an impression on a group of kindergarten students. Later, KFC outlets started pouring in with orders from other schools, making the common food market their Christmas produce.
In 1974, a member of the KFC sales team overheard a customer complaining about the unavailability of turkey and therefore having to settle for chicken. This is how the “Kentucky for Christmas” campaign was born, where a bottle of wine was served with the festive meal to kick off the celebrations.
The special holiday meal, as offered by KFC, is still under development. It is usually accompanied by “hand-prepared chicken stuffed with cheese and mushrooms, baked fresh in the restaurant”. As people waited in long lines outside KFC outlets to place their order before, after the pandemic, KFC Japan launched online orders where customers have a pickup hour when they arrive. can come to the restaurant and take their order.