KFC’s secret blend of digital sales and technology monitoring

Read time 3min 50sec

Posted by: Kenneth Dolbey, New Business Development, Sourcing EMEA

In the digital world, you have one chance to impress the consumer. That’s why the digital consumer experience is critical for KFC, says KFC digital technology manager Crem Govender.

“When a consumer sees a marketing message and places an order, our digital system must successfully fulfil the order and meet the message’s promise. Being offline causes serious damage to the bottom line,” he says.

As one of the world’s best-known fast-food brands, KFC has found that digital monitoring of its technology platform is crucial to consistent digital revenues and a solid digital consumer experience.

KFC has also used digital marketing to build a clear understanding of the link between digital consumer interactions and buying behaviour, enabling implementation of the right technology and business processes to maximise sales.

“In partnership with the monitoring services company Sourcing, we’ve been able to improve KFC’s South African digital sales and fulfilment platform availability from 80% to 95%,” says Govender.


KFC started monitoring its digital platform from the outset, to maximise platform health and avoid lost sales. Monitoring ensures platform health through key performance indicators, uptime being the most important, with system response times, website load times, transaction failure and processing rates following closely behind.

Says Govender: “We started monitoring early to understand how much downtime the restaurants in our digital sales ecosystem were experiencing, the intention being to reduce loss of sales and improve customer experience.”

KFC had enabled its digital infrastructure and monitoring before Covid-19. These combined platform and monitoring capabilities positioned KFC to handle accelerated growth as digital sales surged during the pandemic in 2020. Monitoring was even more essential throughout this process as, without it, KFC would not have been able to adapt to accommodate increased sales and tune systems accordingly. KFC has experienced strong double-digit growth in digital ordering channels post the pandemic.


Since downtime significantly affects the end-to-end consumer experience through delays during ordering, payment, pick-up or delivery, monitoring data is used as a key decision-making tool as KFC adjusts its technology platform to meet future consumer needs — downtime is scrutinsed and analysed to refine sales processes.

“As KFC scales up, we need to do so with certainty about our platform. The data we gather is not just used for local reporting and planning but is used to report sales globally—so that KFC internationally understands how the South African operation is performing,” Govender explains.

KFC has refined its digital process to the point of monitoring app store ratings to ensure that consumers have good experiences. “People will look at app store ratings, which will inform their decision about whether to download,” says Govender. “Too many outages could prevent them from ever downloading the app in the first place, never mind making a digital purchase.”

The company also monitors its local ecosystem partners (like delivery companies) to understand their uptime with respect to KFC transactions during trading hours. Monitoring of this type, through application programming interface endpoints, is critical to effective ecosystem partnerships that benefit all parties.


KFC chose to outsource its technology platform monitoring to Sourcing as creating its own solution by building the capability and incurring upfront costs in hiring staff and developing the software simply didn’t make business sense. The time factor was also crucial: KFC wanted to monitor its digital channel from the start while focusing on its core business, getting orders into stores, doing marketing and preparing the food. There wasn’t time to spend months developing an in-house system.

Sourcing — a global monitoring service provider that helps clients solve IT platform and application monitoring problems using a single technology covering hundreds of technology integrations wrapped in class-leading service methodology — provided an existing, purpose-built platform. “As the project continues to evolve, we add additional monitoring capabilities for new aspects of our customer facing digital ordering platform. In terms of the new aspects of platform monitoring, Sourcing pilot 10 restaurants to ensure the monitoring meets business requirements and then rapidly onboard a further 1 000 restaurants. This provides us with great business agility as Sourcing takes care of all the operational heavy lifting, getting monitoring deployed and they keep it working.”

As a bonus, Sourcing is a South African-based monitoring company with a local team that understands both KFC’s business and the local trading environment. “KFC’s relationship with Sourcing has allowed us to ensure that consumers have service when they want it. Together, we have greatly reduced the risk of bad consumer experiences and lost sales,” concludes Govender.

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