KFC is cracking down on competitors who copy its branding, last week reaching an out-of-court settlement with London-based operator Tennessee Fried Chicken.
The two companies reached an agreement after KFC discovered two Tennessee stores in London had changed their name to TFC.
Under the settlement Tennessee Fried Chicken undertook to ensure its name would not be abbreviated to TFC in future, it would not use KFC's distinctive stripes on signage or packaging, and would not copy the KFC colouring.
KFC's managing director of marketing Kip Knight said the settlement with Tennessee should set an example for other operators. "We are very pleased that Tennessee Fried Chicken has climbed down, and trust our victory will deter any other companies who may be imitating KFC branding," he said.
He added that the company would be undertaking an aggressive policy and would take full legal action against anyone passing off the KFC brand.
Tennessee Fried Chicken has 22 stores, nine of which are company-operated. Lincoln Matadeen, the company's controller, said the change of name to TFC had been instituted by one franchisee only, at two stores in Shepherd's Bush and South Harrow. The change had been carried out without the company's approval and the franchisee had already changed its branding back to Tennessee Fried Chicken, he added.
About half the 300-odd Kentucky Fried Chicken stores in the UK have changed to the KFC brand, and the rest are expected to follow suit this year.