02/19/2018 14:16 EST | Updated 02/19/2018 14:26 EST

KFC Chicken Shortage Forces Shutdown Of Restaurants In Britain

The company blames it on "teething problems" with a new delivery contractor.

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A closed KFC restaurant in Clapham, south London. The fast food outlet has been forced to close a raft of stores after a new delivery contract with DHL resulted in chicken shortages across the country.

LONDON — Fried-chicken fans were in a flutter Monday after most of the 900 KFC outlets in the U.K. and Ireland were forced to close because of a shortage of chicken

The company apologized to customers, blaming "teething problems" with its new delivery partner, DHL.

KFC first apologized for the problems on Saturday. In an update Monday, it listed almost 300 stores as open, but did not say when the rest might join them.

It said those branches that remained open were operating a limited menu or shortened hours.

"We know that this might have inconvenienced some of you over the last few days, and disappointed you when you wanted your fried chicken fix — we're really sorry about that," the company said in a statement.

DHL, which recently took over the KFC contract from Bidvest Logistics, said that "due to operational issues a number of deliveries in recent days have been incomplete or delayed."

When DHL announced in October that it had won the KFC contract alongside logistics firm QSL, it promised to "re-write the rule book and set a new benchmark for delivering fresh products to KFC in a sustainable way."

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