“It’s never too late to start something new, to do all those things that you’ve been longing to do.” Dallas Clayton. This proverb stands true for KFC owner Colonel Harland Sanders. He started selling fried chicken when he was 69. He shattered entrepreneurial myth such as you have to start at young age to be a successful entrepreneur.

History of KFC

KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) was established by Colonel Harland Sanders in 1952 in Utah. He worked for many years in various fields with mixed success before starting fast food chain KFC. KFC focused on the fried chicken when there was dominance of hamburger. Sanders learnt cooking at the early age of 7. He developed what he called his “Original Recipe” comprising of 11 herbs and spices in July 1940. The same recipe is used for KFC restaurants chain. KFC headquarter was established in Louisville, Kentucky in 1959.

Early Years of KFC

In 1952, Sanders franchised his secret recipe “Kentucky Fried Chicken” for the first time, to Pete Harman of South Salt Lake, Utah, the operator of one of that city’s largest restaurants. The franchise concept became successful. After the success of Pete Harman, several other restaurant owners franchised the concept and paid Sanders $0.04 per chicken. Sanders visited suitable restaurants in US looking to offer the franchise, after he sold his south salt lake restaurant due to new reduced traffic rules. After closing the North Corbin site, Sanders and his wife Claudia opened a new restaurant and company headquarters in Shelbyville in 1959. He slept in back of his car quite often, while visiting the restaurants to offer the franchise if the staff liked his chicken. After some time the franchise started to visit Colonel Sanders instead. He ran the company and his wife Claudia mixed and shipped the spices to restaurants.

The franchise approach was the demand of the town; KFC was one of the first fast food chains to expand internationally, opening outlets in Canada and later in the UK, Mexico and Jamaica by the mid-1960s. Overwhelmed by the growth of the company, aging Colonel Sanders sold the company to John Y. Brown Jr. and Jack C. Massey in 1964. But Sanders continued his association with the company as a salaried brand ambassador. Colonel Sanders died at the age of 90 years in December 16, 1980. During this journey, he got a rejection from 1009 restaurants. However, he never gives up as he was confident about his unique recipe and its taste. And finally, the day came when few restaurants agreed to sell Sander’s chicken recipe. By the year 1963, nearly 600 restaurants agreed to sell the recipe and Kentucky chicken making it a brand.

Today KFC has established itself as the 2nd largest food chain spread globally in 136 countries. The lesson we learn from Sander’s life is that Success is achievable at any age. The only thing required is your conviction towards fulfilling your dream at any stage of your life. Always believe in yourself wholeheartedly, the burning desire to succeed will pave your path towards your dream despite everything even your age! So Never give up!


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