KFC Adds New "c-suite" Position; Elevates Cook Aaron Person As Restaurant Chain's First-ever Chief Chicken Officer
25-Year Veteran to Consult with KFC Executives, Serve as Spokesman for National Cook Certification Program; New Position Filled In-House by Best From Among Thousands of KFC's Trained Cooks
June 28, 2011 // Franchising.com // Today tastes so good for Orlando, Fla. KFC cook Aaron Person. KFC has selected Person as the company's first-ever Chief Chicken Officer, a newly created position designed to serve as the spokesman for the rollout of the restaurant chain's new Cook Certification Program. Thousands of KFC cooks across the country will participate in this initiative as the chain works to ensure each and every restaurant location continues to maintain the quality Colonel Sanders demanded more than 70 years ago.
"At KFC we pride ourselves on having trained cooks in every one of our kitchens coast to coast, preparing the world's best chicken that our customers know and love every day," said Barry Westrum, chief marketing officer for KFC. "Our CCO was selected from a long list of KFC cooks who have exemplary work records and are great role models for their coworkers. We are confident our restaurants across the country will benefit from Aaron's 'So Good' advice."
Person will star in videos designed to reinforce how to best prepare Original Recipe® chicken "The Hard Way" – hand-breading and cooking the chicken fresh every day, just like Colonel Sanders did. Person may also potentially star in a commercial highlighting the cooks in every kitchen at KFC. The chain is currently airing commercials starring actual KFC cooks instead of actors, showcasing a number of the cooks from KFC kitchens across the country - some who have been loyal to KFC kitchens for more than 20 years.
"I've had the honor of cooking Colonel Sanders' recipes every day for the past 25 years and I can't believe I've been chosen from more than 5,000 KFC cooks nationwide to take on this new role of Chief Chicken Officer at KFC," said Person. "I'm excited to team up with our incredible roster of cooks all over the country so we can continue to elevate the service we provide our consumers at KFC each and every day."
In his 25 years as a cook at KFC, Person has developed a passion for teaching new cooks how to best prepare the chain's beloved chicken. The high standards he holds himself to every day are evident through the accolades he's already received in his career. Earlier this year, Person was recognized by KFC President John Cywinski for "outstanding product" and he was once the only participant in a company team challenge to receive a perfect score for preparing chicken. When he is not at the KFC kitchens, Person, who is married with five children and six grandchildren, enjoys spending time with his family.
Cooking with 11 Herbs and Spices
KFC's Colonel Harland Sanders debuted his secret Original Recipe® of 11 herbs and spices more than 70 years ago, creating a legendary combination that has since become a favorite of chicken-lovers everywhere. At each of KFC's more than 5,000 restaurants nationwide, trained cooks freshly prepare Original Recipe®, Extra Crispy™, and Kentucky Grilled Chicken® every day.
Visit www.KFC.com for specific details about KFC's line of fresh chicken on the bone and zero grams trans fat per serving products. KFC's "Fresh" claim is applicable to its thighs, drumsticks, breasts and wings. Not applicable in Alaska and Hawaii or due to supply shortages. For more information, follow KFC on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KFC and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kfc_colonel.
KFC Corporation, based in Louisville, Ky., is the world's most popular chicken restaurant chain specializing in Original Recipe®, Extra Crispy™, Kentucky Grilled Chicken® and Crispy Strips with home-style sides, Honey BBQ Wings, and freshly made chicken sandwiches including the Double Down™ and the Doublicious™. There are more than 15,000 KFC outlets in 109 countries and territories around the world serving some 12 million customers each day. KFC Corporation is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., Louisville, Ky. (NYSE: YUM.) For more information, visit www.kfc.com. Follow KFC on Facebook (www.facebook.com/KFC) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/kfc_colonel).
About Colonel Sanders
The Kentucky Fried Chicken concept was pioneered by Colonel Harland Sanders (1890-1980), whose cooking career began at age six. Sanders held jobs ranging from streetcar conductor to insurance salesman, but his cooking skills were a constant throughout his life. In 1930, Sanders operated a service station in Corbin, Ky., and filled the stomachs of hungry travelers who stopped in to fill up their gas tanks. Sanders soon moved his restaurant across the street when he could no longer keep up with the demand from travelers who he had been feeding at his kitchen table. In 1935, the Kentucky Governor made Sanders an honorary Kentucky Colonel for his contributions to the state's cuisine. Over the next decade, the Colonel perfected his secret blend of 11 herbs and spices and the basic cooking technique still used at KFC today. When Sanders was 65, a new interstate highway forced the closure of his restaurant and he was left with only his recipe for fried chicken and a $105 Social Security check. The Colonel hit the road and struck handshake deals with restaurant owners who agreed to sell his fried chicken. What began as a dream fueled by the Original Recipe, a no-quit attitude and a Social Security check grew into the world's largest chicken restaurant chain. Until he passed away in 1980 at the age of 90, the Colonel still traveled 250,000 miles a year visiting KFC restaurants around the world.