Franchise Philanthropy July/August 2017

Franchising Gives Back: No More Empty Stomachs

KFC Canada is using its resources and brand power to partner with the World Food Programme and fight hunger around the world. Through KFC Canada’s Add Hope program, the franchisor, in partnership with franchisees, is taking the initiative to raise awareness and to work to end the hunger problem both locally and worldwide. This charitable cause is one of three pillars that dictate KFC’s overall business strategy.

Brian Henry, CPO of KFC Canada, says it was an easy decision to develop the Add Hope program and partner with the World Food Programme. “It’s just a natural fit in terms of what we believe in: strong belief in people and supporting the community. There’s a hunger crisis in the world and in Canada, so how can we, as a food services company, help solve this issue.”

Add Hope raises funds for the World Food Programme in diverse ways. During the month of October, franchisees facilitate a special in-store focus nationwide: customers can donate a dollar from every purchase, and donation boxes are set up. Restaurant teams also use fundraising strategies such as walkathons, non-perishable food drives, and car washes. The annual Holiday Adopt-a-Family program, where KFC Canada locates a family in need and provides them with gifts and essential items so they can enjoy a stress-free holiday, is a big success, and was adopted by franchise partners during the 2016 holiday season. KFC also hosts an annual golf tournament every September, where suppliers participate and donate funds to contribute to the cause, and corporate office grassroots programs create internal excitement for the Add Hope program.

Henry says that the response from franchisees “has been incredible. Many are full-on partners, and they often work locally to build the local community, and work towards issues that are close to their hearts. We’re pleased with the family aspect of everyone rallying around a cause that helps us and our guests.”

On top of this franchisee support, the Add Hope program has also been a big financial success. “We’re seeing year-by-year increases in funds raised, and at the end of 2016, we raised $707,000,” says Henry, noting that KFC Canada’s relationship with the World Food Programme has been going strong for seven years.

KFC Canada’s fight against the hunger problem doesn’t end with the Add Hope program. It is involved with the KFC global Harvest Program, wherein surplus food that is prepared at the restaurants is donated to local community shelters in need. In existence since 1992, the Harvest Program globally donates more than seven million pounds of KFC product to more than 3,000 non-profit agencies each year. Henry says they’re working hard to implement the Harvest Program in more local communities in Canada.

Franchise partners also participate in fundraising and volunteer initiatives to show their support to more than 200 local hunger-related programs such as North York Harvest, Daily Bread Food Bank, Cold Lake Food Bank, and Kane’s Kitchen, just to name a few.

“We’re a company with a big heart, and at the centre of that is helping others,” says Henry. “Add Hope is a great intersect with our community, and that’s the type of organization we are: we’re a family business.”

Giving back is a vital aspect of the KFC Canada franchise system. Henry says that through charitable initiatives, KFC is a brand that goes above and beyond to help the community, which only contributes positively to the brand as a whole. “We are committing to our franchise community, and want to position Add Hope and KFC as a brand that really cares,” says Henry. “We want to do more work around communities and end hunger worldwide and in our own backyard.”

By Miguel Mabilangan

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