How KFC used an eye-catching real estate design to make a statement

KFC last month unveiled the “Crystal Bucket” restaurant in Painted Post, NY with curved floor-to-ceiling windows, which was once the “most beautiful KFC in the world.” The old bank building is a unique restaurant, but it continues to make waves in the community and beyond, and has become an effective marketing tool for KFC fans in the area.

The Crystal Bucket opened on May 3 and features curved floor-to-ceiling windows, a wooden cathedral ceiling and a bank vault, which has been transformed into an ironic “vault” where they keep the 11 Colonel’s herbs and spices. The building fell into Yum Brands’ lap after an area property developer made contact with a former bank building for sale that looks like a KFC crystal bucket. The coincidence felt like kismet.

“We took the strategic opportunity to highlight the provenance of the brand, and we also have these unique landmarks,” Brian Cahoe, KFC’s director of development, told Nation’s Restaurant News. “[KBP Foods CEO and Crystal Bucket owner] Mike Kulp owns the Big Chicken in Marietta, Georgia, which has a 56-foot steel chicken with a wiggly beak and eyes. […] We will continue to seek out these unique ways to tell the KFC brand story. »

A great story gets people talking and according to Kulp, the crystal bucket has already become an icon in the community.

“There was real excitement about opening this restaurant in the community,” Kulp said. “From a revenue perspective, the results exceeded our expectations. It’s a very small community and the response has been amazing so far.

The Crystal Bucket not only looks new and shiny, but also incorporates elements of the Next Gen KFC store redesign like digital integration, integrated pick-up shelves, signage and dedicated parking for digital order pick-up .

“As we grow, we get more and more spaces to grow the brand,” Cahoe said. “Our US asset base is in a much cooler contemporary setting than it was just a few years ago as franchisees are immersed in the upgrade strategy.”

Going forward, expect a variety of store formats from KFC, depending on geographic location and community needs. Although not as eye-catching as a crystal chicken bucket, the redesigns meet the changing needs of customers.

Contact Joanna Fantozzi at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

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Rozella J. Cook