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By Mike Hazlip—
Recently boarded up windows and doors at a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant are prominently visible to passersby on Greenback Lane, next door to where a Popeyes drive-thru is slated to take up a former Burger King.
Windows are covered in plywood, and the business’s online information says “permanently closed.” A phone call to the number associated with the location went unanswered during business hours Friday.
Kathilynn Carpenter, executive director of the Sunrise MarketPlace, which represents hundreds of businesses in the Sunrise-Greenback commercial corridor, said in an email Saturday that she was aware of the closure but did not have details on why the restaurant closed.
The Kentucky Fried Chicken closure marks the third restaurant in a row now shuttered in the high-traffic district along Greenback Lane. An employee of a nearby restaurant who did not want to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to media said the chicken franchise closed several weeks ago. The adjacent Burger King closed months ago, and a sushi restaurant also closed last year along the strip.
A sign at the closed Kentucky Fried Chicken location refers customers to the next nearest location at Sylvan Corners. A manager at that location didn’t know why the Greenback Lane restaurant closed, but indicated the Sylvan Corners location has been very busy.
Also on The Sentinel: Citrus Heights Planning Commission gives OK to new Raising Cane’s drive-thru
KFC parent company Yum! saw its stock plummet during the initial wave of the pandemic, but finished out the year with 7.6% growth. While many dine-in restaurants suffered consistent drops in revenue, an August article in USA Today said several fast food chains with drive-thru windows and easy delivery options have seen sales increase during the pandemic, including KFC, Pizza Hut and Wingstop.
Opening a new Kentucky Fried Chicken requires a total investment of at least $1.3 million, according to Business Insider. That includes a $45,000 franchise fee and upwards of $700,000 for restaurant equipment such as fryers and grills. There are also ongoing royalties and advertising fees.
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