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Press photo. /KFC

KFC Singapore spends SG$1m on its biggest menu change

The brand did 12 months of R&D to develop its new burgers before its launch.

For a time, KFC Singapore’s burger menu consisted of only one item: the Zinger. According to Juliana Lim, KFC Singapore’s Senior Director of Marketing and Food Innovation, in-depth research revealed that consumers are constantly looking for new ways to enjoy their favourite fast-food meals, hence the prompt for KFC to take it further with burgers on their menu.

“We have done in-depth research to understand what consumers are looking for in terms of formats and chicken types in the fast food market. It showed that burgers are gaining popularity. And, this could be due to the consumer’s changing lifestyle or their preference towards convenience,” Juliana told QSR Media.

The new burger, called the Extra Tasty Chicken burger, ETC Burger for short, was KFC Singapore’s take on a non-spicy crispy chicken burger after its successful launches in the US and other KFC markets.

“When we did our research, this menu item received a lot of rave reviews in many KFC markets where it was launched. In order to win with our local taste buds, we do know that we need a different product pairing when we bring this to Singapore,” Juliana explained.

Serious about chicken burgers

The new ETC Burger is made with brioche buns, crunchy and zesty fresh pickles, fresh large-cut lettuce, and a unique marinated chicken fillet that is freshly breaded daily in-store and fried before being carefully assembled and served to customers.

For it’s existing range of Zinger, KFC has also made improvement efforts to upgrade to a soft glazed sesame bun and change its lettuce to a larger cut for more crunch.

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According to Juliana, for KFC Singapore to be ready to dive into the burger scene, the brand has invested SG$1m in kitchen technology to improve its burger-making capabilities.

KFC Singapore replaced its old bun toasters with a new one that could toast buns twice as fast. Anticipating demand, KFC also bought a better fillet holding unit to keep each fillet hot and in optimal condition. Adjustments were made to the height of the fillet holding unit to make it safer for their staff to manage and use the equipment.

This investment also saw KFC retrofit its chiller and sauce holding equipment to ensure a more linear flow at the workstation.

Juliana said that though their restaurants are not 100% structured for making burgers, these investments help to enable team members and staff to better prepare the burgers for their guests.

From their tracking, the new kitchen technology and setup will improve KFC’s burger-making capabilities by 20% to 25% depending on customer foot traffic.

At present, more than 55% of KFC Singapore’s restaurants have been retrofitted with this new kitchen setup and KFC will continue to work on upgrading the other remaining stores

Marketing activation to make a statement 

To draw attention to the launch of their new burger menu, KFC Singapore created an immersive three-day marketing campaign that saw the fast food chain doing a burger takeover at their outlet located at PLQ Mall from 26 April to 28 April.

Juliana shared that the burger store takeover is a bold step for KFC as this was the first time the brand isn’t selling fried chicken on the bone on the menu

The campaign ran on the tagline, “Serious about chicken burgers.” To demonstrate this commitment, KFC Singapore transformed its restaurant at PLQ Mall into a chicken burgers-only restaurant. During the three days, the brand removed its famed Original recipe chicken and Hot & Crispy chicken from the menu, leaving only chicken burgers and other sides items on sale for the entire event.

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All menu boards showcased the ETC Burgers and the improved Zinger range favourites. KFC also changed the sign at this restaurant and renamed it to #Chicken_Burgers by KFC.

Inside, KFC Singapore made a major overhaul, changing the interiors to punctuate its new offering. The fast food chain also installed an immersive giant wall of burger boxes for photo opportunities, a claw machine, and gave away other fun prizes and merchandise to entertain guests.

The three-day burger takeover saw more than 1,200 customers visiting the KFC PLQ outlet and clocked in over 1,000 transactions. The outlet also met its target sales by selling only burger meals during the period.

Juliana said that as the fried chicken expert now delivering chicken burgers, KFC Singapore aims to be a formidable competitor in the burger segment. Apart from burgers, KFC will also continue to answer consumer needs with new interesting products.

“Other than food, I think the other big thing for us will be digital. We want to put KFC at the forefront of digital and make it easy for our customers to order. You will probably see very soon a new KFC APP, upgrade to store kiosks, and possible new initiatives around predictive AI and rewards programme,” Juliana said.

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