Remember when you’d heard all about a fancy fast food chain but your country (let alone city) didn’t have an outlet? And the maddening excitement when they finally decided to set foot in your country? Iranian nationals felt a similar bout of ecstasy when KFC announced the opening of its first outlet in Iran. Only the happiness was short-lived. The outlet shut down in within a day.
The reason? Turns out it wasn’t KFC after all!
Yes, that happened.
That was the name of “the first American branch” of its kind that Iran had seen.
An official webpage and Instagram account even showed bouncy happy customers lining up outside the chain. Only to find a ‘closed until further notice’ sign slapped across its main doors the very next day!
— Tasnim News Agency (@Tasnimnews_EN) November 3, 2015
The reason given for the abrupt shut down was that the set up of the place was too American. And the walls with signature red and white stripes even resembled the American flag. The whole décor in general was way too Americanized and showed an out an out western influence.
Basically, the place shouted out America and the country is not ready for that kind of a commitment with the West.
Shock & Clarification
Store Manager Abbas Pazuki said in a statement that the closing of the outlet was due to a misunderstanding and that they are a part of not KFC but a similar – but different – brand known as Halal KFC in Turkey. This KFC, he said, targets the Muslim markets and is in fact a rival of the original American KFC.
The outlet, which had cropped up in Western Tehran had apparently taken approval from the country’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Mines.
“We are shocked with the news that an illegitimate KFC outlet has opened in Tehran, Iran,” Laurie Schalow, a (American) KFC spokesperson, told Mashable.
“No franchise rights have been granted to any party in Iran. We are in contact with local authorities and external advisers and will be filing a legal action against any company or individuals claiming to have rights to open KFC”, he added.
Following the counterfeit KFC’s showing up, the original one is planning to take legal action against the former. KFC’s parent company Yum! Brands is in talks with Iranian local authorities to stomp down on any other illegitimate outlets in the country.
Although the relations between Iran and the U.S. had thawed during Nuclear conferences, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has banned all future negotiations with America and also launched a boycott of all U.S. goods, reported Free Beacon.
In other news, the nest time you check-in at a KFC outlet do clarify whether it’s ‘Halal’ or ‘American’.