In an effort to appeal to the 20- and 30-somethings who prefer Chipotle and Panera to McDonald's and Burger King, KFC is tossing out the bones and the quaint image of founder Col. Harland Sanders as it gets ready to test a slightly more upmarket restaurant. The fried chicken chain says it's opening a location called "KFC eleven" early next month near its headquarters in Louisville, Ky., one that will serve flatbread sandwiches, rice bowls, salads, and only boneless pieces of its Original Recipe chicken.
The restaurant's exterior won't feature Sanders, whose bespectacled, white-bearded likeness has long been front-and-center at traditional KFC locations. But the name of the test restaurant is a reference to the 11 herbs and spices Sanders used in the original recipe. John Cywinski, president of KFC, said in an interview that people often equate KFC with "buckets of fried chicken on the bone," primarily as a dinner or weekend option. He said the company hoped to use the new test location to learn how it can update its offerings and draw in a broader customer base, particularly women.