KFC closes Pattani, Yala stores

Restaurant operator KFC will close its outlets in two of Thailand’s restive southern provinces after determining it couldn’t complete needed renovations.

The fried-chicken chain said Tuesday the closures of two stores in Pattani and one in Yala were only temporary, but gave no indication how long the shutdowns would last. In the interim, it has relocated 13 employees to other stores.

In a statement, KFC said the three stores, which have been operating for 10 years, need renovations that cannot be done due to continuing violence in the provinces.  

"Present local circumstances make it hard to perform any repair or renovation work, as well as regular equipment maintenance, due to difficulties in transportation and finding staff and contractors to work in the area," the chain said.

While the restaurants are closed, KFC will find "more-suitable" locations and study solutions to its problems with its operations, which require regular equipment checks, maintenance and certification, the company said.

KFC said it offered all its Pattani and Yala employees a relocation program that included a new position and relocation to other stores. Thirteen workers opted for the new posts.

The chain stressed it remained committed to Thailand and has plans to open 50 outlets in the kingdom this year, including 10 in the South. Currently, KFC operates 500 restaurants in Thailand, with 65 of them in the southern region. It plans to add an additional 10 southern stores in 2015, it said.

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