A KFC-themed pop-up hotel has opened for a limited period of 11 days in Shoreditch, London, to offer fans of the fast-food giant a unique experience amid the pandemic and cash in on the UK’s booming staycation industry. According to GlobalData’s Q2 2021 Global Consumer Survey, 93% of British consumers are concerned about the impact of Covid-19 in general, indicating a significant proportion would be worried about holidaying abroad. The exclusivity of this experience will appeal to consumers seeking a UK-based holiday in the capital due to health and financial reasons, as well as those simply looking to take the edge off with a lighthearted stay during these trying times.
One in three British consumers (34%) reported that they are ‘extremely’ or ‘quite concerned’ about their personal financial situation. The KFC hotel offers a unique opportunity for a summer ‘staycation’ in England between 18-29 August. It offers guests a ‘chick-in’ clerk similar to a concierge service to accommodate all needs, as well as access to a private cinema room and a pick-up service to be driven to the suite in a black Cadillac referred to as the “Colonelmobile.” Guests at the hotel are entitled to an on-demand service of KFC chicken via the hotel’s ‘press for chicken’ button, which will notify the concierge to deliver chicken.
The extra services are provided to give guests a memorable experience. The experience is charged from £111, which is likely to be perceived as reasonable during the pandemic due to the exclusivity of the concept; the hotel’s novel theme, limited period and availability of booking, the safety of holidaying in the UK, and especially considering the increase in popularity of ‘staycations’ and its impact on the overall price inflation of holidaying in the UK.
The fast-food giant announced that all proceeds gained through this business venture would be donated to its charity, the KFC Foundation, which supports organisations for younger people across the UK. With increased awareness about social causes, many consumers aspire to do the ‘right’ thing when purchasing goods. One-third of British consumers (35%) surveyed in GlobalData’s Q1 2021 Global Consumer Survey reported that a brand’s ethical and social responsibility initiatives were the greatest influencers on their choice of product or service in the current situation. The publicity this pop-up hotel has received will promote and attract custom to the quick-service restaurant (QSR) brand across the UK, especially influencing consumers who are concerned with social responsibility.
KFC is considered one of the major foodservice players worldwide. It is ranked amongst the UK’s top fast-food chains due to consistently offering consumers its iconic seasoned chicken with 11 herbs and spices. The hotel has been available for customers to book from 11am on 11 August. The advertisement highlights the importance of the number 11 to KFC and has been emphasised throughout the entirety of the pop-up hotel campaign.
The motive behind the fast-food chain venturing into the hotel industry is a short-term strategic marketing move to create hype around the famous chicken brand. Foodservice brands should consider marketing strategies that are ‘outside the box’. Effectively promoting the brand name and product will strongly impact sales in terms of customer loyalty by attracting repeat custom. This campaign is the first of its kind and will appeal to consumers willing to pay extra for an exclusively unique experience while enjoying the famously recognised chicken.