KFC’s fried chicken sandwich goes before the judges

The final contender in our chicken sandwich challenge gets its chance to wow the tasting panel.

Our tasting challenge wrapped up with the final contender: The new KFC Chicken Sandwich.

Restaurant Business editors and our colleagues at Technomic and FoodService Director were sorry to see the smackdown end but eager to try this long-awaited entry from the Colonel. The sandwich finally rolled out nationwide at the end of February, an upgraded replacement for KFC’s Crispy Colonel sandwich.

Judging from our comments as we collectively unwrapped the new KFC Chicken Sandwich, it was worth waiting for.

The panel agreed that this was the best-looking presentation. The good-sized chicken filet extended beyond the bun for a generous “overhang” and the coating looked fresh and crispy. In transit—whether from a drive-thru or through delivery—the sandwich arrived nice and warm.

The praise continued after the first bite, with one panelist calling this “the crispiest sandwich yet.” But the crispy coating did not overpower the filet; the ratio of batter to chicken was deemed “just right. The chicken filet really stands out,” said another taster, citing its thickness and juiciness.

The sauce was also noteworthy. Although KFC claims it is plain mayonnaise, our team thought it tasted like more than mayo. It had an herby flavor that differentiated the sandwich.

The pickles, which always seem to come under much discussion, were thicker and crunchier than some of the competition’s. And each sandwich boasted three pickle slices.

The bun was not noteworthy but “served its job” and worked well with the components to provide a pleasant mouthfeel.

Value is a big selling point for the KFC sandwich, our judges agreed. The base price is $3.99, although that can vary depending on location.

“Hands down, one of the most economical,” said a panelist, while another commented that “it was very true to the KFC brand; a premium product wrapped in a very reasonable price.”

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Pricing has driven restaurant sales growth for the past 2 years

The Bottom Line: Restaurant sales have grown for most of the past two years. But they haven't kept pace with menu price inflation, suggesting the industry is saturated again.


Restaurants can learn some foodservice tricks from supermarkets

State of the Plate: Nancy Kruse, RB’s menu trends columnist, says grocers are stepping up their game, and restaurants need to keep up.


So you are opening a restaurant in a Walmart? Good luck with that

The Bottom Line: The retail giant is adding regional restaurant chains to its stores, giving them some key exposure. But there are some real drawbacks to pay attention to.


More from our partners