Merging KFC’s iconic brand with unparalleled convenience

KFC website and app

As KFC’s creative technology partner since 2019, BASIC/DEPT® has created an omnichannel digital transformation for one of the world’s biggest and best-loved restaurant brands.

BASIC/DEPT® not only overhauled their digital strategy from a creative perspective but also helped build out their new technology – earning one of their Yum! STAR Awards for innovative digital experiences along the way.

Most quick-service restaurants treat their websites as purely transactional moments, assuming that consumers are already converted and ready to order. 

For years, KFC was no different. 

They let third-party delivery services handle most online orders, while they prioritized in-person experiences to reinforce their brand.

But consumer expectations have been shifting rapidly. They demand more convenience and personalization than ever before, expecting brands to meet – and exceed – their needs online and on the go. With estimates that quick-service restaurants will be 54% digital by 2025, KFC needed an agency partner to help bring their southern hospitality into the digital age.

They tasked us with crafting an industry-leading customer experience, both in-person and online, that would embody the warm, irreverent personality of their brand while pushing them ahead of their quick-service competitors.

Combining colonel charm with speed

From innovative drive-thru experiences to a completely revamped website and mobile app, BASIC/DEPT® aimed to help KFC sell more finger-licking chicken by fusing the charm of the Colonel with the speed that modern consumers crave. BASIC/DEPT® used insights from consumer research to overhaul the brand’s entire digital approach.

This meant developing new strategies for their menu architecture and photography, elevating their brand with copy in the Colonel’s unique voice, and delivering both creative and technological support for their new best-in-class experience. 

BASIC/DEPT® also created a dynamic design system for a future-proof platform that could scale their brand consistently across all channels.

A convenient and fun website experience 

Through insight-driven personalization, BASIC/DEPT® created an online and mobile experience that was not only more convenient but also more fun. BASIC/DEPT® added customization that allowed customers to reorder their go-to favorites again and again, along with a recommendation tool to inspire new cravings based on previous purchases and behaviors.

An app that connects online and in-person experiences 

BASIC/DEPT® built KFC’s mobile app from the ground up, creating more connectivity between online and in-person experiences.

New features include progress bars, which help consumers track the status of their orders, and digital ticketing, which enables more seamless pick-up and drive-thru.

Scalable design

​​BASIC/DEPT® leveraged the brand’s strong visual identity to build a scalable design system with KFC’s personality infused into every element, from the typography to the overall Americana feel.

BASIC/DEPT® also used the brand’s iconic red in tasteful moments that livened up the experience, like key CTAs, and dialed up the deliciousness with close-ups of flavorful food to inspire craving and encourage discovery.

+13% increase in same-store sales over a two year period

Our partnership has driven large-scale growth for KFC in the US. By designing a more frictionless online-to-offline experience at drive-thru and pickup, BASIC/DEPT® contributed to a 13% growth in same-store sales over a two-year period (2019-2021). 

Meanwhile, by reimagining KFC’s website and app experience BASIC/DEPT® contributed to significant digital sales growth while bringing the unmistakable brand personality and voice of the Colonel into new digital territories. 

The team also received a Yum! STAR Award for innovative digital experiences.


Head of Marketing US

Kristin Cronin

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