What are the KFC Graduate Schemes?

Colonel Sanders was an Original, opening his first restaurant in 1955 in Corbin Kentucky, going bust at the age of 65 and then starting again – a creative genius and relentless in everything he did. We love and respect that and follow in his footsteps so at KFC we celebrate originality.

For Graduates in 2017, we offer programmes which give you the opportunity to learn our business from its heart, in our restaurants learning the fundamentals of chicken and chips; breading and cooking our world famous chicken, building burgers and frying fries. Right through to restaurant manager, giving you the skills to lead the management of all aspects of your KFC restaurant from coaching, developing, motivating and engaging your team to creating a culture to be proud of.

To compliment the "hands on" learning we've created Development Programmes that give you the structured framework you need to fulfil your potential at a fast pace. Our goal is to equip you with versatile management and leadership skills so that, moving forwards, you can make the most of opportunities right across our business and emerge as a business leader who can innovate and influence the direction of our business. We're looking for people who are adaptable, resilient, commercially aware, naturally gifted leaders who can inspire and motivate the people around them.

So if you are an Original like the Colonel, with entrepreneurial spirit, ambition, unrelenting tenacity, warmth and humility and you share our passion for real restaurants, real food and making a real difference, somewhere you can be yourself then this is the opportunity for you.

Your Roadmap

Dear Diary:
A week in the life
of a graduate at KFC.

  • Monday
  • Tuesday


    Today, I am shadow shift running, so I am essentially running a shift but with the safety net of there being another shift runner on hand just in case. It's really important that I have my best team members in the right places and that I give the team really clear instructions to ensure we produce quality product, provide excellent service and meet our daily targets. After my shift I hopped on a train to Woking to meet the other graduates for dinner in advance of one of our Graduate Development Centres on Wednesday.

    — Alex

  • Wednesday


    Today I travelled to our regional training offices for a workshop to meet with my regional trainer and the rest of my cohort. Today's session is all about the processes behind running the shift.

    — Alex

  • Friday


    I love that there is an opportunity for the whole graduate cohort get together and we have the chance to meet various people from across the business as well as broadening our knowledge. Our session today was on Emotional Intelligence (EQ), truth be told, before I went in to the session, I was reasonably unsure about what Emotional Intelligence was and how I could use it. However, I can safely say that this workshop lead to some of most breakthrough moments I've had in my time with KFC.

    — Alex

  • Saturday


    Saturday night and I was on the late shift, I was in the kitchen helping on the cook station; cleaning, breading and cooking the various types of chicken we all know and love at KFC. The fast paced environment the kitchen provides, particularly on busy weekend shifts, can give you a real buzz. Our restaurant is in a really busy location and we are packed with customers all night, but, at three o'clock in the morning, to see the team still all with smiles on their faces makes all the sweating over ovens and fryers worth it!

    — Alex

Why is KFC the right fit for you?

Graduate Profiles

  • Joe

    what's your current role at KFC? I am on the graduate programme and I am a Restaurant Manager, running my own restaurant.

    What did you study at university? I studied Law (Mlaw) at Northumbria University.

    What did you want to be when you were growing up? A doctor

    Why did you choose law? The wig. After completing my degree I realised that wanting to wear a wig in court wasn't exactly a good enough reason to do that for the rest of my life, one day they might have decided to scrap the wigs and then I would have nothing.

    What was your first touch point with kfc? As a child KFC Family Night was a bit of a tradition in my family, one Sunday night every month we'd play board games and get a KFC. Now when I see a family come into my restaurant it reminds me of those nights.

    Why did you apply to the kfc graduate scheme? I wanted to apply for a scheme which I knew I would put me out of my comfort zone, this may sound daunting for a lot of people but it has developed me as a person so much. There's no point in lying about it, the salary was also very attractive!

    What's the best thing about the programme Being able to take charge of your own career. If you want something in this company there's nothing stopping you from getting it. You can contact anyone you want whether it be the MD or the CFO they're more than happy to chat to you.

    What's the worst thing about the programme? Trying to switch off. When you are running a million pound business nothing is ever done. I find it difficult to switch off and sometimes this means on my days off I'm on the phone to the restaurant trying to find out how everything is, when in reality I just need to switch off and relax for the day.

    What's do you think are the most important characteristics for someone considering the kfc graduate programme? Don't be afraid to get stuck in. Working in restaurant has been one of the most challenging things I have ever had to do. At university we are so used to being mentally challenged and whilst you will be mentally challenged on the programme, you need to be prepared for the physical challenge. The 5am starts and the 12am finishes; it's tough, but certainly worth it.

  • Tom

    What did you study? BSc (Hons) Management Sciences, Loughborough University

    What did you want to be when you grew up? Astronomer

    What was your first touch point with KFC? This sounds sad but it was during my first week at University, I didn't really know many people and I took myself off from the chaos of Fresher's Week to enjoy a KFC and it brought feelings of comfort and nostalgia as it was my Grandad's favourite meal.

    Why did you apply to the KFC Graduate Scheme? KFC is a values led business where I feel I can make a difference whether that's working with Barnados and raising money for the World Food Programme or making a difference to my Team Members in restaurant providing an environment where they can be themselves and proud to be part of the team.

    What's the best thing about the programme? Inspiring someone's self believe that they can do the job and then seeing them flourish - it's a great feeling.

    What's the most challenging thing? Making sure your operations knowledge is as sharp as it can be in order to gain credibility with your restaurant team.

    What's the worst thing? Doing a 14 hours shift and then not being able to set the alarm, calling the maintenance team and then sleeping in the lobby to await their arrival, fortunately that doesn't happen very often.

    What's do you think are the most important characteristics for someone considering the KFC Graduate Programme? Dogged resilience and grit and be proactive to seize opportunities when they present themselves or even when they don't.




The starting salary for Retail Management is £23,000 and for Leadership Development is £27,000.



We offer a £1,000 and £3,000 welcome bonus to our Retail Management Programme and Leadership Development programme respectively.

Flexible Benefits

Flexible Benefits

We offer an excellent mix of benefits as you start your career with us, we call it our "Pick and Mix" Benefits because you can build your own bespoke reward package from a wide variety of core and flexible benefits, such as gym membership, car ownership and holiday trading.

Learning and Development

Learning and Development

Our Leadership and Development platform is a solid framework to guide and support you throughout this exciting journey. We have put in place a leadership programme that will help you develop the right skills, competencies and behaviours you need to progress in your career.

KFC Mortar Board

How to apply

We accept online applications until 31st December 2016, however we do have a lot of people apply early on - so if you don't hear from one of the team for a little while after we acknowledge your application, don't panic!

Apply now:

*please note the above rewards are illustrative of those on offer to employees of KFC GB Ltd, and may vary to some degree in our Franchise owned and operated restaurants.