A “Chickening Out” Lesson

Today, I hankered for fried chicken for a take-out lunch but discovered there wasn’t a fried chicken place within 10 blocks of CEI’s 19th and L Sts. offices.  So I grumpily settled for the less appetizing but ubiquitous broiled chicken.

After lunch, I found out that there is justice in the world – and the dearth of fried chicken has economic consequences.  John Hood, writing in NRO’s The Corner this afternoon, skewered KFC (formerly Kentucky Fried Chicken) for listening to politically correct execs rather than to its customers  and thus experiencing a 7 percent drop in 2nd quarter revenues and a suit from its franchisees. And it seems to be the result of KFC’s de-emphasis of fried chicken and its national ad campaigns that focus on healthy broiled chicken without a nod to Colonel Sanders’ Original Recipe.

What’s the lesson from this?  Well, Hood explains:

What’s the larger significance of KFC’s internal battles? In both the public and private sectors, far too many decisions are made on the basis of silly fads, partial glimpses of nebulous trends, a temptation to placate powerful interest groups, or a pathetic desire to be seen as enlightened. In the private sector, companies sometimes waste time and money on pointless public-relations exercises, senseless recycling programs, and the like. But subjected to the rigors of competition, these firms tend to pay the price over time and adjust their behavior accordingly. In the public sector, however, politicians don’t have to worry as much about losing ground to competitors. Their absurdities persist. Their pretensions multiply.

Amen to that.  And, next time I get the urge, I’ll just fry my chicken at home.