It is no surprise that a free meal would cause a frenzy in a bad economy. But, add Oprah Winfrey to the mix and you get a perfect storm.
Tuesday, the talk show queen announced a Kentucky Fried Chicken meal promotion on her show. Millions printed out the coupons, and now KFC is struggling to dish out the free food.
Some restaurants have shut down, others have sent customers away empty handed.
So, News 3 wanted to find out if the chicken craze has hit Bryan-College Station.
"I think a free meal is good anytime, nowadays or not," one local consumer said.
We saw dozens of coupon users walk into both B-CS KFC restaurants all wanting what they were promised.
"A few extra bucks in my pocket is nice," another local consumer said.
But with millions of Americans with the same idea, something was bound to go wrong
"I just figured as many people that go to the internet it will be tough for one KFC to handle all these coupons," one coupon user said.
KFC promised a free meal consisting of two grilled chicken pieces, two sides and a biscuit that usually costs $3.99. Oprah promoted the giveaway Tuesday, turning it into an internet frenzy.
And KFC restaurants, including the ones in Bryan and College Station couldn't keep up with demand
"They said you could get it at a later date," one consumer said.
The Bryan restaurant says it gave away $3,000 worth of free food Wednesday, and Thursday they had nothing to dish out.
"If they offer free food you should get it," another coupon user said.
Instead, coupon holders received a form at both B-CS eateries. Customers were asked to fill it out, attach the original coupon and send it off for another free meal. Their prize for being patient, a free Pepsi.
So, while some waited to get what was promised, other's left with a bad taste in their mouth.
Nationwide, there have been reports of riots and protests because customers couldn't get their free chicken.
But Kentucky Fried Chicken says this is greatly exaggerated. KFC admits they didn't prepare for the extreme interest in the giveaway.
The orginial coupon says its valid until May 19, except for Mother's Day. No word on whether KFC will accept the coupon, once the interest subsides.
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