Enthusiasm for Kentucky Fried Chicken (PFK) restaurants continues two years after the chain's relaunch in the Quebec region, while a seventh outlet is set to open in just a few months.
The brand in Colonel Sanders' colors had completely disappeared from the capital's landscape in December 2019. Two years later it was reborn in the Vanier sector with a new franchisee, Perry Marcoux.
“It was really crazy, there were lines everywhere in Hamel,” recalls the former owner of several Tim Hortons. He has since opened three more PFK branches in Saint-Nicolas, Galeries de la Capitale and Baie-Saint-Paul, which has generated similar interest and created around a hundred jobs.
“We knew there would be excitement, but not to this extent. Has it subsided? [avec le temps]? It hasn't taken off, no. We simply have more restaurants. Then, in my opinion, Kentucky restaurants in the Quebec region are doing very well,” explains the businessman, who says significant efforts have been made to modernize the chain's image and customer experience.
In Quebec's DNA
In recent weeks, another franchisee, the New Brunswick-based Franchise Management Inc. (FMI) group, has experienced the same phenomenon by opening new outlets in Beauport and Val-Bélair, resulting in long lines at car service.
“I’m glad there is one now. You had to go far if you wanted to! […] “Sometimes it’s really good,” says Francine Lavoie, a customer who tried the Val-Bélair restaurant for the first time this week.
The PFK Restaurant in Val-Bélair, which recently opened and is owned by a New Brunswick franchisee, also saw strong traffic when it opened. Dominique Lelievre
New businesses sometimes become victims of their success, especially when starting up.
“It's a gratifying problem, but we also have to manage customer satisfaction,” emphasizes Perry Marcoux, recognizing that it is a challenge because training and onboarding the team takes time.
According to him, it is a matter of time before the brand returns to Quebec.
“[Le poulet frit], it's in the DNA of Quebecers. Your parents, my parents, our grandparents even ate Kentucky. […] I didn't have the vision of the century… I just said, 'I think there's a market.' Then there actually was a market,” he says.
Beauport and Old Levis
PFK now has five addresses in Quebec and one in Lévis. At least one will be added, as Perry Marcoux confirms that he wants to open a new restaurant on Rue Blanche-Lamontagne before the end of the year, which will be the second in Beauport.
“It will really be the final concept. It's going to be crazy. It’s going to have some kind of big LED barrel on the front… it’s going to be completely crazy!”
A project to open in Vieux-Lévis is also in the works for 2025, but not yet confirmed.
The PFK restaurant on Boulevard Wilfrid-Hamel, near the intersection with Rue Soumande, was the first to open in January 2022 after a two-year break. Dominique Lelievre
“We are happy to be back in the city and from what we have seen, so are the customers,” commented Dana Myshrall, marketing director of the FMI Group, which does not hide that it is located throughout the province, There are about sixty PFKs in growth mode in which it is already operating.
In 2019, the former manager's financial difficulties and staff shortages were cited as explanations for the end of PFK's adventure in Quebec.
Can you share information about this story?
Write to us or call us directly at 1 800-63SCOOP.