Fancy sampling some tasty chicken?
It’s not a good start as Andrew Withers, the multi-millionaire boss of the company, described the food that he ate at one of his franchises as, “horrible, greasy s**t”.
Sitting outside a Southern Fried Chicken shop in Sheffield and eating chicken and chips from there, Withers is filmed on camera talking on the phone with his lawyers, trying to ban the franchise from using his brand name.
Withers, who is a father of two, visited a number of his restaurants across the UK and worked alongside unsuspicious staff and discovers dreadful hygiene problems, as he secretly examines shops of his franchise.
The fall of Southern Fried Chicken
Withers has said that he holds himself personally responsible for the plunge in standards, because he was preoccupied expanding Southern Fried Chicken by opening 700 stores worldwide and took his eye off franchises in the UK.
Southern Fried Chicken describe that they recognise the independent operator’s need for an identifiable public image, quality products, with professional support and realistic prices. They also portray that Southern Fried Chicken offers a “premiere restaurant franchise image for the independent operator”.
However, Withers saw a different side and was seething, “They were using my name on the shops, but they weren’t using my method of cooking, they weren’t using my ingredients and they weren’t using anything we educated them in the early days, which made annoyed me so much”.
The chicken shop franchise was set up by his father over 40 years ago in the 1960s, and Withers has promised to sort out his UK businesses and get the food back up to standard.
Withers explained that “People will go into that shop and say how rubbish the brand is. Tasting that food hurt me personally because this is something my father created and something I’m now trying to defend”.
Getting the business back on track
Withers turned his back on one of the Sheffield restaurant franchises that he visited, which saw staff lose their jobs, its cheap restaurant insurance taken away and supplies stopped, as it has now been closed down. However, Withers decided to help and improve other franchises after meeting some of the other staff and seeing their potential.
We’re looking forward to seeing how it pans out in tomorrow’s Undercover Boss episode.