An unregistered storage hub has been blamed for the chicken shortage which has forced KFC to close 750 of its 900 UK outlets.
Rugby Borough Council has confirmed the cold storage facility used by DHL, which took over KFC deliveries last week, had not yet been granted the registration required to operate.
Until last week, the fried chicken giant delivered poultry to UK outlets via expert food distribution firm Bidvest Logistics.
In a bid to increase profits, KFC awarded the contract to DHL on Tuesday – causing 255 redundancies and the closure of a Bidvest depot.
A leading workers union has called the decision “bird-brain” and said the crisis could have been avoided if warnings had been heeded months ago
Mick Rix, GMB national officer, said: “It’s taken days to uncover the real truth about the shambles at this DHL hub that has plunged KFC’s supply chain into total chaos. They’ve been winging it.”
He added: “We tried to warn KFC this decision would have consequences – well now the chickens are coming home to roost.
“Bidvest are specialists – a food distribution firm with years of experience. DHL are scratching around for any work they can get, and undercut them.
“It’s an absolute cock up. KFC are left with hundreds of restaurants closed while DHL try and run the whole operation out of one distribution centre – where conditions are an utter shambles.
“Three weeks ago KFC knew they had made a terrible mistake, but by then it was too late.”