Colonel Sanders- Man who Failed 1009 Times Before Succeeding

Published: Aug 06, 2016 09:40

Colonel Sanders

Colonel Harland Sanders is the founder of KFC(Kentucky Fried Chicken), a successful American restaurant chain. But as they say, suceess don't come easy, Colonel Sanders story of success is amazing and full of inspiration. 

Harland David Sanders was born on September 09, 1890 on a country road three miles (4.8 km) east of Henryville, Indiana. Sanders’ father died when he was only 6 years old. His life changed dramatically. His mother went to work to a tomato-canning factory to feed the family somehow and Sanders was required to be a babysitter and take care of younger brother and sister at home. At the age of 15, Sanders falsified his birth date and volunteered for the U.S. Army. He served a full term and ended his service in Cuba. 

In his 40s, Harland Sanders bought a service station, motel and cafe at Corbin, a town in Kentucky. Colonel Sanders began serving meals to his clients in the living quarters, because he did not have a restaurant. He was cooking chicken dishes and other meals such as country ham and steaks in the kitchen. Soon his service station became famous throughout Kentucky. It was called “Kentucky Fried Chicken of Harland Sanders.” In 1935 the governor of Kentucky awarded Harland the title of Kentucky Colonel for services to the state. In 1937, he opened the motel Sanders Court &  Cafe, which was also an independent fast food restaurant.

But life dealt a blow to Sanders. In 1956, an Interstate Highway was contructed, bypassing Corbin. Sanders’ restaurant was out of sight from passing by travelers. The number of customers decreased dramatically. The once-successful business rolled down. He was forced to sell the property for $75,000 to pay his debts. He was almost broke when he was 66 years old, living off a monthly Social Security check of $105 and some savings. After a while Sanders decided to move to Shelbyville, Kentucky. 

He started visiting other restaurants of America. When meeting a potential franchisee he talked about the recipe of cooking chicken and its seasoning. It took a long time before he could find the first customer. Legend has it that Colonel Sanders heard 1009 “no”s before he heard his first “yes”. Under the contract, Sanders received just 5 cents for each of his sold chicken. In the early 60’s Colonel Sanders had a few hundred franchisees across the U.S. restaurants. And after 4 years Kentucky Fried Chicken was at the peak of glory and the old Colonel decided to sell the corporation to a private investor. Under the deal, he received $2 million in cash and remains the official face of the company for which he was paid about 250,000 dollars a year.

KFCIn 1980, at the age of 90 years, Harland Sanders died. In recent years he got disappointed at KFC, because he thought that in the pursuit of the lowest price and speed – the owners went to a compromise on the quality of chickens. However, after the death of Colonel the story was not over. 

In 1986, it was acquired, by the famous Pepsi Co. In 2002 the KFC was acquired by Yum! Brands. In addition to KFC, the company owns Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants. The chain of more than 39 000 restaurants operates in more than 50 countries around the world. Currently, Yum! Brands employs more than 1,500,000 employees and the net income as of 2015 amounted to $1.29 billion.