KFC is fixing a major mistake to compete with Chick-fil-A

As Chick-fil-A's business explodes, KFC is realizing it needs to make some major changes if it wants to keep up.

KFC announced last week it is publicly recommitting to the quality of its products, with employee retraining and a new satisfaction guarantee. The company is calling the process "Re-Colonelization."

"Customers were saying, 'Your food doesn't taste the same,'" Jason Marker, KFC's US president, said Monday in a press event. "We're not making the food the same way the Colonel had, and we're not making food in what he described as 'the hard way.' Today marks the end of that."

Effective immediately, if customers aren't satisfied with their KFC order, the restaurant will remake whatever aspect of their meal fell short. The chain has rolled out an extensive "chicken mastery certification" program, spending more than 100,000 hours retraining more than 20,000 employees.

KFC's focus on going back to its roots comes after a few years of incredible sales growth at rival Chick-fil-A.

View different fast food items from around the world:

Fast food from around the world
See Gallery
KFC is fixing a major mistake to compete with Chick-fil-A
McDonald's Japan serves rice cheese balls! A crispy outside with a warm, gooey inside -- YUM.
McDonald's India features the McAloo wrap. Aloo is a type of potato curry and McDonald's put its own spin on it by wrapping a flour tortilla around an aloo patty garnished with lettuce, onions, vegetables, and sauce.
Pizza Hut Russia serves an Oktoberfest seasonal pizza with Bavarian sausage, pepperoni, vegetables, sauce, and mustard. You like?
At Burger King Argentina you can order a Churrasquito. It's grilled over hot coals and served with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo.
At select Wendy's locations in Australia, you can order a Brekky dog -- a breakfast style hot dog. GOOD MORNING to that!
Taco Bell Japan serves a shrimp and avocado burrito. This exclusive item has only been on the menu since April 2015!
Known as 'Maccas' in New Zealand, McDonald's menu there includes 3 savory pies. This one is the Mince 'N' Cheese pie stuffed with ground beef and cheese. 
At Pizza Hut in Saudi Arabia you can order a seafood pizza, including shrimp, calamari, crab, and vegetables on a thin crust.
McDonald's serves porridge in Thailand! 
You can order chili cheese nuggets from Burger King in Hungary. Bits of jalapeño peppers and a spicy kick.

In 2012, Chick-fil-A passed KFC as the No. 1 chicken chain in the US by sales, despite having fewer locations. Last year, Chick-fil-A says its system-wide sales topped $6.1 billion, with same-store sales growth in the double-digits.

Much of the growth in recent years has been rooted in major changes — many of them which have helped differentiate Chick-fil-A from KFC.

The chain has centered its menu on healthy and higher-quality offerings, launching a premium coffee line and a new grilled chicken recipe in 2014, plus a kale and broccolini salad earlier this year. Chick-fil-A is increasingly marketing itself as a family-centric restaurant with dine-in potential, rolling out table service and "Mom's Valet" for parents with young children.

With these changes, Chick-fil-A has portrayed itself as a community-minded place to take a break, setting itself apart from the negative reputations that plague the fast-food industry.

Now, it looks as though KFC is doing much the same thing.

While KFC isn't trying to be as family-focused as Chick-fil-A, it is similarly attempting to establish itself as an authentic and higher-quality dining option.

The recent Colonel-centric marketing campaign and even the idea of "Re-Colonelization" puts the chain's historical and culinary roots front-and-center. New menu items such as Nashville Hot Chicken similarly emphasize craft and creativity, attempting to disabuse customers of the notion that KFC simply sells cheap, low-quality chicken.

"We're like a football team... that was once great," Marker said in the event. "And [now] the fans are kind of like, 'What are you guys doing? Come on.'"

As KFC plans its comeback, it's going to have to compete with Chick-fil-A. Fortunately for KFC, Chick-fil-A has created a playbook full of notes on how to win over customers from coast-to-coast — and the chicken chain seems ready to imitate some of its rival's plays.

Check out what it's like to work a 24 hour shift at Chick-fil-A:
What It's Like to Work a 24-Hour Shift at Chick-fil-A

NOW WATCH: This famous NYC fried chicken restaurant secretly has the best fries

More from Business Insider:
We tried a new Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich clone to see how it compared to the real thing
5 things you should never buy at Target
Victoria's Secret supermodel reveals her surprising diet

SEE ALSO: KFC is fixing a mistake it has been making for years

Read Full Story