For most of the world, Christmas is the time of snow, lights and cozy family dinners. Japan, on the other hand, seems to take cozy Christmas family dinners up a notch with the fast-food giant KFC. It has been observed that KFC joints in Japan experience some of the busiest days during Christmas.

The Japanese seem to prefer the popular Old KFC guy over Santa, all thanks to KFC’s  Christmas special meals. Many locals plan to enjoy a satiating Christmas dinner at KFCs, making the restaurant chain handle 10 times more customers than usual. Families visit their local KFC outlets during the evenings and enjoy fresh chicken meals during Christmas hours.

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It is rightly said that every country has a personalised twist to a particular holiday. In the case of Japan, the country only has 1% of its population practicing Christianity, thus making KFC a special part of their Christmas tradition.

KFC’s rise in Japan can be attributed to a few different reasons. It is said that Takeshi Okawara, Japan’s first KFC outlet’s manager, who then became the CEO of KFC Japan, had craftily marketed fried chicken in Japan as a quintessential American Christmas dish. Many locals then hopped on the bandwagon to experience the American way of Christmas.

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On the other hand, it is also said that once, a KFC delivery guy dressed up as Santa Claus, making a lasting impression on kindergarteners, which led to many schools ordering from the American fast-food joint.

During the pandemic, KFC Japan also introduced online orders that make ordering meals easier than ever before. Customers are now simply allotted time slots to pick up their orders, which cuts down the long  queues.

For Christmas, the food chain offers a special meal that consists of hand prepared chicken filled with mushrooms and cheese. The tender chicken is then baked fresh, served hot, and enjoyed by thousands of Japanese.