Almost everyone is familiar with the man, the myth, the legend, Colonel Harland Sanders, but few people know just how many years of misfortunes and failures (some admittedly self-inflicted) the Colonel endured before creating the iconic KFC brand (it wasn’t until he was 65 that he incorporated Kentucky Fried Chicken and began franchising the restaurant concept). Thanks to these experiences though (and his undeniable tenacity), we’re not only able to still enjoy the Colonel’s Finger Lickin’ Good® chicken, but we also get to benefit from his legacy that still influences the KFC brand and culture to this day. We’ve collected some of our favorite Colonel Sanders quotations and are sharing some context about why they inspire and challenge us whenever we happen upon them.
“One has to remember that every failure can be a stepping stone to something better.”
Obviously the Colonel is speaking from experience here and we love the optimism and belief in people that this reflects. KFC is a place that believes in people’s intentions and is committed to developing their potential.
“I’ve only had two rules. Do all you can and do it the best you can.”
The Colonel was undeniably a real-life example of how passion, hard work, and a commitment to quality can lead to success. This is reflected in the house rules that guide us to this day: Be Your Best Self. Make A Difference. Have Fun.
"The hard way builds solidly a foundation of confidence that cannot be swept away.”
The Colonel believed that cutting corners would ultimately be detrimental to the end result. This dedication resulted in him spending NINE years perfecting his secret blend of 11 herbs and spices, as well as the basic cooking technique (hand breaded, freshly prepared) KFC restaurants still use today. We now proudly serve 145 countries and territories around the world and there’s still a cook in a kitchen in every last one of them, freshly preparing delicious wholesome, abundant, hot meals the way they should be served—made with high-quality fresh chicken.
"There’s something inside of me that makes me want to help people, especially people who are having difficulty of some kind."
This speaks to the Colonel’s warmth and hospitality – something we aim to bring to life in our restaurants – and his desire to make a difference. We’re on a social impact journey to positively impact our food, people (both inside and outside of our organization) and this wonderful planet we call home. If you’d like more details about the work we’re doing to make a difference in these areas, click here.
“I feed truck drivers, millionaires all at the same table.”
The Colonel’s spirit of inclusion is part of the fabric of KFC’s culture. One of our core values is to believe in all people and we’re proud that KFC is committed to promoting a culture that stands for inclusion and respect, regardless of gender, race, or sexuality. Everyone is welcome at the table.