Published On: Sat, Feb 3rd, 2024

Beautiful French city goes to war with fast food giant as locals furious at new KFC plans | World | News

Residents of a beautiful French city are going to war with KFC as they reveal how furious they are with plans for a new chain in the town centre. Located near Lyon’s Hotel-de-Ville, the KFC restaurant has sparked fears that Lyon’s fiercely independent city centre might become standardised with other chains. 

The chain will be on the Rue de la Republique, which is a major retail road for the city. The director of MyPresqu’ile – a retail association for a UNESCO-protected region of Lyon – said that “the arrival of these chains is not necessarily a good sign for the quality of the Presqu’ile and creates an imbalance in the diversity of shops. 

While the thoroughfare is already home to a number of fast food outlets – including most recently Quick, a Belgian hamburger restaurant – opposition has been very vocal to the KFC coming. Among the critics are elected representatives and a lot of shopkeepers – one of whom said that “the town centre should not look like a railway station or an airport”. 

People are also concerned about the health and ethical implications of the new KFC. The previous tenant in the soon-to-be KFC restaurant was EXKi restaurant – a place offering “vegetable-inspired” dishes. KFC’s food was denounced by Lyon’s deputy mayor, Camille Augey, as “low-quality fast food which harms our health and the environment”, while adding it also “often has little regard for animal welfare”. 

KFC already has a presence in Lyon, and also tried to set up a restaurant in another location. However, when this one was met with fierce opposition, KFC met with the critics and ultimately didn’t push forward with plans – it is unclear whether the opposition played a part. 

In response to the outcry around recent plans, KFC said: “A popular brand appreciated by a wide range of consumers, KFC is committed to making its products available to all French people, throughout the country. 

“Each time we open a new restaurant, we make sure that it fits harmoniously into the local ecosystem. The opening of a KFC restaurant represents many opportunities, including the creation of an average of 40 jobs. 

“These jobs are suitable for a wide range of profiles, particularly students, thanks to the possibility of work-study contracts or part-time work, and offer many opportunities for internal career development. 

“For several years now, KFC France has also been committed to continuous improvement in terms of quality, nutrition, animal welfare, local sourcing, and environment footprint. All the company’s commitments can be consulted on its website:”

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