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KFC, also known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, is an American fast food chain, headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, specializing in fried chicken. It is the world's second largest restaurant chain (by sales volume) after McDonald's, with 22621 branches in 136 countries as of December 2018. This chain store is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands is a catering company with pizza hut, Taco Bell and wingstreet chains.

KFC was founded by Colonel Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur who began selling fried chicken at his roadside restaurant in cobin, Kentucky, during the depression. Sanders discovered the potential of the restaurant franchise concept and opened the first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in Utah in 1952. KFC popularized chicken in the fast food industry and diversified the market by challenging the dominant position of hamburger. By naming himself "Colonel Sanders", Harland has become an outstanding figure in the history of American culture. His image is still widely used in KFC advertisements. But the company's rapid expansion overwhelmed the aging Sanders, who in 1964 sold it to a group of investors led by John Brown and Jack Macy.

KFC was one of the first American fast food chains to expand internationally. By the mid-1960s, KFC opened branches in Canada, Britain, Mexico and Jamaica. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, it experienced a series of changes in corporate ownership, while it had little or no experience in the catering industry, so it experienced a mixed fate at home. In the early 1970s, KFC was sold to heublein, a liquor dealer, which was taken over by R.J. Renault food and tobacco sold the chain to Pepsi. The chain continued to expand overseas and became the first western hotel chain to open in China in 1987. Since then, it has grown rapidly in China and is now the company's largest single market. PepsiCo split its food and beverage division into TRICON global restaurants, which was later renamed Yum!. Brand.

KFC's original product is pressure fried chicken nuggets, flavored with 11 herbs and spices from Sanders. The ingredients of the formula represent a significant trade secret. Since Pete Harman, the franchisor, first introduced cardboard buckets in 1957, most of the fried chicken has been put in cardboard "buckets". Since the early 1990s, KFC has extended its menu to other chicken products, such as chicken fillet sandwiches and rolls, as well as salads and side dishes, such as French fries and coleslaw, desserts and soft drinks; the latter are usually provided by Pepsi Cola. KFC uses its slogan "it's finger lickin'good!" "No one makes chicken like KFC" and "so good" are famous.

Until the death of Colonel Sanders in 1980, Colonel Sanders was an important part of KFC's advertising. Despite Sanders' death, Sanders is still an important symbol of the company, becoming the "international hospitality". The company's early official slogans included "North American hospitality" (since 1956) and "we make Sunday dinners seven nights a week. The slogan "lick your fingers well" began in 1956 and has always been one of the best. The famous slogan of the 20th century, the trademark expired in the United States in 2006. The first KFC logo was introduced in 1952 with the "Kentucky Fried Chicken" font and the Colonel logo.

Advertising played a key role after KFC was sold by Sanders, which began advertising on American television in 1966 with a budget of $4 million. In order to fund national advertising activities, Kentucky Fried Chicken advertising cooperative was established. When deciding the budget and advertising series, it gave 10 votes to franchisees and 3 votes to the company. In 1969, KFC hired Leo Burnett, the first national advertising agency. In 1972, Burnett's famous campaign was the jingle of "get a barrel of chicken, get a barrel of fun" performed by Barry Manilow. By 1976, KFC had become one of the largest advertisers in the United States.