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Escape room

KFC Creates Virtual Escape Room World To Train Its Cooks

A new virtual reality experience called “The Hard Way” is not about experiencing life in prison or in the boxing ring. It's actually a training program developed by KFC. It’s used to train the new KFC cooks in how to make menu items including their famous Fried Chicken, in exactly the way the Colonel would have approved.
2024.04.14.

A new virtual reality experience called “The Hard Way” is not about experiencing life in prison or in the boxing ring. It's actually a training program developed by KFC. It’s used to train the new KFC cooks in how to make menu items including their famous Fried Chicken, in exactly the way the Colonel would have approved.

The Hard Way demonstrates, with the use of cutting edge VR technology, exactly how the original recipe should be made in a practical and modern way. Having the full name of "The Hard Way - A KFC Virtual Training Escape Room" it's actually designed around the concept of the traditional escape room. During the training, a virtual Colonel Sanders will give out various hints and clues to ensure that the chicken gets made in the correct manner. That is the same in the manner and with the recipe he devised over more than 70 years ago.

"In 1940 the Colonel was just one man frying chicken by hand. Now we have nearly 19,000 trained cooks across the U.S., but they're still doing it by hand," said George Felix, KFC U.S. director of advertising. "Our cooking process hasn't changed much in 70 years, but the way we can train our cooks using modern technology sure has."

There are five main steps to be completed including inspecting, rinsing, breading, racking and frying pressure. Once that part of the escape room is over, then the would-be cooks exit the secret training kitchen to take a high-level glimpse of exactly how the original recipe is followed to create KFC fried chicken. The whole process takes around 30 minutes from beginning to end and is being used across all real world KFC kitchens in the United States.  What's great is that, thanks to the game being in a virtual world, it can be used to utilise all the fun aspects of modern technology including such things as time-lapse in order to give the participating chefs a 10-minute demonstration of the entire KFC cooking process.

Thanks to the success of this training program KFC have introduced a new training program called “Chicken Mastery Certification.” This expands the KFC knowledge around the kitchen and provides eLearning and hands-on training for all cooks in every KFC kitchen in the country. Another use of VR simulation technology is also coming to the offices in order to train regional general managers. This also applies to quarterly franchise meetings and also employment board meetings that take place at its headquarters. The program itself incorporates a very playful design and makes use of gamification. The actual game mechanics themselves make virtual reality incredibly popular with all trainees. There are, within the programme, such things as escape room concepts, surprises, mini games and a VR realistic looking Colonel Sanders himself. In fact the virtual Colonel controls the entire experience as well as KFC VR tools. As a direct result, all trainees are super pumped after taking the training program and the company believes it adds value for the trainees. 

Whereas  most fast food outlets are mainly concerned about speed, KFC have decided to focus more on ensuring that the recipes and products being served are optimised. Thanks to the use of technology, it's able to teach the cooks how to be consistent with the products they are producing. The gamification part of the progress allows the participants to ensure that the original, once patented process for pressure frying chicken, and making use of his still secret recipe, which blends 11 herbs and spices, always produces excellent results every time.

Interestingly enough the program has been devised around Microsoft's Oculus platform, which utilizes the touch controllers along with Rift headsets. The KFC Virtual Training Escape Room Game was commissioned by KFC in partnership with Wieden and Kennedy   who are a creative Technology Group and also W + K Lodge Design.

"What excites us is experimenting with new tools and mediums to tell stories. VR became an obvious choice to create an immersive experience that teaches trainees how to make KFC's Original Recipe. The escape room concept builds on the pure training and utility of the experience into something that's also entertaining and connected to KFC's iconic founder," said Jonathan Minori, W+K Lodge design director.

KFC is the world's most popular chicken restaurant chain. The original founder was Colonel Harland Sanders. And it's in his spirit that KFC still functions as it constantly changes, innovates and improves it's menu along with engaging marketing campaigns to keep customers happy and find new ones. Around the globe there are over 20,500 KFC outlets. 
 

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