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Kentucky Fried Chicken Sizzles in Fallujah

Kentucky Fried Chicken store in Fallujah, Iraq

Only a short time ago the city of Fallujah served as stronghold for insurgents. Daily skirmishes, improvised explosive device detonations and public unease made operating a business in the city very difficult.

Today, with improved security throughout the region, the low price of 4,000 dinar, or $3.50, will purchase a full meal at the recently established Kentucky Fried Chicken in the Hey Al Dubat area of the city.

The KFC is the first to open for business in the city. Before improved conditions in the city, insurgents threatened business owners, demanding money to support acts of terrorism.

After a quick visit to the Fallujah Business Center during routine operations July 16, Marines with Regimental Combat Team 1″™s Security Platoon and with Information Operations, talked with employees at the franchise to evaluate its success.

“We stopped to check up on the KFC to see how things were going,” said 1st Lt. Michael C. Bryant, platoon commander with Battery M, 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, RCT 1. “You can tell that the area is returning to normal, especially when you see fast food places in the area doing so well.”

The restaurant has several employees, and three that work full time. Employees there serve an average 25 customers per day.

The Marines often take time to assess economic progress and gauge community activities during missions in the city.

After several short conversations with employees and patrons, the Marines ordered food to take back to Camp Fallujah for lunch.

“I think it is awesome to see a business doing so well in Fallujah, and not have to worry about safety or corruption,” said Bryant, a 25-year-old from Colorado Springs, Colo.

Security over the past several years has reached an all-time high in Fallujah and many of the surrounding areas. The increase can be accredited to coalition forces conducting patrols and security missions, as well as Iraqi police and Iraqi army retaking control of a majority of the Anbar region.

“I remember when I was here last in July 2004 and things were much different than they are now,” said Sgt. Steve J. Arnoux, a 25-year-old vehicle commander from Browning, Mont. “When we would go out on convoys in the city, the attitude was a lot different. It seemed like we were just waiting to get ambushed. Now we stop at KFC.”

Citizens of the area can now work steady jobs, where as prior conditions kept many from even coming to work on a daily basis.

“I love the work here, because we have the opportunity to go to work every day,” said a KFC employee.

By Cpl. Chris T. Mann
Regimental Combat Team 1 Public Affairs Office

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  1. With the help of an Arabic-English dictionary, I was able to figure out that the Arabic writing on the sign reads malik ad-djaaj al-kntaakii.

    Malik is “king,” djaaj is “chicken,” and kntaakii should be pretty obvious.

    So the whole thing roughly means “Chicken-King from Kentucky” or maybe “King of Kentucky-type Chicken,” etc.

  2. It doesn’t mean the story is “bogus” just because the “KFC” chicken place that opened up in Fallujah is an imposter KFC.

    In fact, it may even reinforce the point of the story because Iraqis are apparently able to start a totally independent fast food place there without needing backing from an international chain to do it.

  3. Michael Yon suggested at another site that this might be a copycat store. Doesn’t change the meaning of the story. You don’t copy the things you hate.

    I am trying to follow up with KFC, though they ignored my original e-mail about posting this story.

  4. This is a bogus story.

    Yum! Restaurants International spokesman Christophe Lecureuil:

    “I understand you wanted some details about the store in Falluja that looks like a KFC. This store is not approved by KFC International and we have working with the US Military to warn the troops of this situation.”

  5. 1 KFC can seem small and even pointless. but it fact it takes only a small symbol to move a people forward. Now is a KFC that symbol?? maybe, maybe not, the bigger point is that it is a real start. its something everyone who lives there can see, and that can be powerful. A people that have a symbol can win.

  6. No, Joe.
    More like, lives lost creating an environment of peace, freedom, and real potential- and in such environments, KFC’s come into existence.

    And Chris, you like the story but you think the government isn’t a credible news source? Are there any sources that are MORE credible? If you believe the story to be true (and if you don’t, you beleive that they actually bother to create a mock KFC storefront to make a minor point?) then you ought to ask why things like this are suppressed in the media. Why don’t they want you to know that Iraq is experiencing economic recovery? What is the media’s purpose in that?


  7. Wasted lives and money for a KFC.

    Just like Vietnam.


  8. Colonel Sanders has requested a surge of 30,000 chickens, but Barry Osama is against the move due to the unbearable stigma it would put on the Iraqi people. BO will also not support a price increase to upsize the combo meal under any circumstance. The opposing view, MCain is for the surge, quote “chicken wings can only be a good thing and should bring a lasting piece of chicken to the region”.
    It is said that MCain also supports upsizing any combo meal drawing great discourse from the left side of the ailse. They will now push for censure. Speaker Pelosi demands an apology from MCain stating “how can anyone in their right mind expect to get more than one dipping sauce when the nation is in a deep fried recession, the Colonel has been an utter failure from the first bucket from his franchise”. Senator Reid was not available for comment due to the chicken bone stuck in his throat, the senator’s representative said the majority leader would push for impeachment of the Colonel if and when he proves that he ordered spineless instead of just the traditional chicken. News at 11

  9. re: SSgt Dixon’s claim about McDonald’s being in Iraq, didn’t I hear back in 2003 that the US has never been to war w/ a country that has a McDonald’s?

    there may have been copycat places, but I doubt there were any real McD’s over there.

  10. Yes, Doc Lee, we did enforce the No Fly Zones in 1998, 2000, and 2001.

    But all our bases were in the Gulf States or Turkey. Prior to 2003, there wasn’t a single US base in Iraq.

    For SSgt Dixon’s statement to be true, he would have had to have been embassy staff or part of a UN Weapons Inspection Team.

    And since from what I remember neither were in the country during that time frame, the evidence would suggest that SSgt Dixon is a troll.

  11. Anybody remember the No Fly zones? Of course we’ve been in Iraq during those time frames. There is a Subway, a Pizza Hut and a Burger King outside Tikrit, BTW.

    SSG Lee OIF 06-07

  12. Look…either we want security or we don’t. Either we want progress, or we don’t. Either we want victory, or we don’t. It’s that simple.

    This KFC is a good indication of the improved level of security in Fallujah. Period.

    I would think it certainly beats seeing one of our boys dangling from the bridge, burned and dead. From some folks I guess it doesn’t though, huh?

  13. I think “SSgt. Dixon” is full of cowplop and most likely a code pink whacko trolling this board and attempting to undermine U.S. accomplishments.

  14. BTW, site owner — I like the quote rotator, but could you slow down the rotation speed a bit, please? Too many long quotes that can’t be read in the time available.

    And I got an error trying to trackback to my post about this. Not sure if it’s a problem on your site or operator error on my part. :-}

  15. Least, I think you’re being too gentle. SSgt. Dixon’s claim of being in Iraq and seeing all those fast food franchises strikes me as being about as believable as Sen. Kerry’s Christmas visit to Cambodia.

    I wonder if SSgt. Dixon is yet another bogus “Winter Soldier.”

  16. Ssgt Dixon!
    Why were you in Iraq during those years?

    The presence, in Iraq, of a member of the US military during 1998, 2000 and 2001 would not have been received well.
    And insofar as the presence of US based franchises — I have some doubts about your claim.

  17. It’s great to see any new business opening anywhere, especially in Iraq, but is this KFC a licensed franchisee or just borrowing a well-known corporate name? Just curious.

  18. So Jeremy, were you hoping for a Socialist Democracy instead of a Capitalist Democracy?

    I applaud these budding Capitalists and hope that their country lets them enjoy the benefits of capitalism and a free market economy with their new freedom.

    Thanks to all the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen who won that freedom for them and security for us.

  19. We win!
    Al Queda sucks dog balls.

  20. I was in iraq in 1998, 2000, and 2001. There where pizza huts, kfc, burger kings, and mcdonalds every where.

    I don’t think the opening of 1 Kfc was worth it.

  21. First cell phones now fast foods, it appears Iraqis are an industrous people.

  22. What an interesting story! It is unfortunately, however, that the source (government generated PR) detracts from the credibility.

  23. Not the kind of democracy I was hoping for.

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