Last week, I ate a couple of lunches in a place down the street from the newspaper headquarters that sells wonderful gyro-like wraps. Luckily for me, they were only too happy to serve the wraps to me the way I like them — just meat, lettuce and bread.

This week, I’ve been on my own for lunch. Since I’ve been eager to eat fast and then get back to work, I’ve just been skipping over to the KFC, just down the block from the newspaper building.

I think it’s fair to say: This is the nicest KFC I’ve ever been in.

The downstairs dining room is maybe two or three times the size of an American KFC. And then there is balcony seating upstairs. I’ve not ventured up there yet. At this altitude, walking up stairs is too much like work.

The menu here is totally different from an American KFC. There are no chicken nuggets or other boneless varieties, other than this nice sandwich. Which has been more than adequate.

Perhaps the oddest but most subtle difference: Note the Diet Coke. First of all, soft drinks are in bottles only here. No fountain drinks.

Secondly, that’s a Diet Coke. Typically, you’ll find only Pepsi products at a KFC in the U.S. That’s because from 1986 to 1997, KFC — along with its sister franchises Taco Bell and Pizza Hut — was owned by Pepsico.

As you might know, we’re smack in the middle of Ramadan. There is a fairly large Muslim population here in Kenya. Hence, the Ramadan specials.

Note the tag line: “Available exclusively after sunset.” And the little moon icon at the upper right.

I was also amused by this sign. Apparently, KFC has had to change the style of French fries they serve — at least, temporarily.

The fine print, in case you can’t read it:

Andy’s gone to escape the cold, so Jeff is filling in for a few days. He’s slightly chunkier than Andy and has the same great taste. Your favorite chip will be back shortly.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fast-food franchise give names to their French fries. I can think of several reasons why this might not be a wise marketing choice.

And, of course, I’ve discovered: You can’t whip out your iPhone in a KFC in Kenya without also taking pictures of the crew behind the counter. They just expect to pose for the strange American in the Hawaiian shirt.

Hey, I’m happy to oblige.

So: Eating at a Kenyan KFC. I can now strike that off my “bucket list.”


I’m nearing the end of a two-week consulting and teaching trip to Nairobi, Kenya. Read along with my trip here.