It’s been a bad week for Kentucky Fried Chicken.
First, a local restaurant managed to run completely out of cooked chicken on three different occasions when I had a taste for the Colonel’s Original Recipe.  I suggested that there were, perhaps, timing problems in the kitchen.
But that was just the beginning.  That little series of gaffes pale in comparison to the latest blunder: the restaurant has had to turn away customers across the country after being overwhelmed with requests for free meals of its new Grilled Chicken.
The free meal offer came in the form of a coupon available for download — it has since been taken down — and promoted by, of all people, Oprah Winfrey.
The overwhelming demand for KFC’s newest menu item caught the company’s restaurants completely off guard.  They ran out of chicken.  Some locations apparently had to close temporarily while they could be restocked.
Customers cried fowl.  (Sorry, couldn’t pass that one up.)
So the coupon campaign got put on hold.  Much like I was when I was told that it would be 11, 18 or 22 minutes for chicken.
The resident of KFC issued a statement yesterday:
“The lines of customers wanting to redeem their coupons have been out the door and around the block, so we’re unable to redeem customer coupons at this time.”
Citing a response that was the biggest in the brand’s 50 year history, Kentucky Fried’s corporate brass called the response “overwhelming.”
I have to wonder what they expected.  They asked Oprah to advertise their product.
Last time I checked, her ratings are still pretty high.  Nationally, about seven million people watch her show daily.  Add to that incredible following  a stifling economy leaving families struggling week after week to pay their bills and an offer for…oh, I don’t know…free food!
Maybe most of us could likely imagine that the response might be a bit impressive.
And for those of you who were able to download and print the coupon before it was yanked from the cybersphere, don’t shred the printout just yet.  KFC says it will issue rainchecks to customers and allow them to get their free chicken at some other time.