Practice makes perfect.
Before opening to the public, 35 employees of the Richmond KFC/Taco Bell were put through their first test – serving 181 guests complimentary lunches yesterday at the restaurant’s Friends and Family Day.
The test run was to gauge the knowledge of the new employees and for them to practice their pace to quickly serve many customers. The restaurant will open to the public next week.
“KFC [chicken] has 11 special herbs and spices. They have perfected it and no one can duplicate it. It’s like a great chef. My goal is to provide that perfect blend, for the employees to master it and provide it consistently,” said owner Rajeev Jain. “We will also offer friendly service and clean surroundings.”
The day kicked off with a flag-raising ceremony by Richmond Troop 324. Around 24 Cub Scout and Boy Scouts, along with their families, were on hand for the festivities. Hardin’s Brianne McGuire performed an acappella rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Afterwards, the scouts were treated to anything on the menu.
“Excellent!” was the critique from Cub Scout Jared Richards. Richards, who opted for the KFC grilled chicken, also indicated his pleasure with an enthusiastic “thumbs up.” From 10:30 a.m. to around 3 p.m., the restaurant served members from area business and church communities.
Inside, the interior is vibrant with color and artwork. High-tech digital menu boards – the first of its kind in the country – display a full menu of KFC and Taco Bell items. Along with the Colonel’s original recipe, customers can order crispy or grilled chicken, as well as gizzards and livers and chicken fried steak. The store also offers an extended list of side dishes along with 15 fountain drink choices, coffee and bottled drinks.
“Everybody told me they were wowed,” Jain said. “They also said they were impressed with the friendliness of the cashiers.”
Throughout the day, the sound of the restaurant’s bell was heard, concluding with a boisterous “thank you” from employees. The Jains have installed a bell on the wall near the main entrance of the restaurant. If a diner received great service, they can ring the bell to let employees know.
Rajeev Jain and his wife Dimple have slated Saturday, June 27, for a festive grand opening complete with live music and entertainment. Throughout that day, customers will receive free fountain drinks served in refillable tumblers. Part of the proceeds on grand opening day will go towards the Richmond Salvation Army’s food pantry.
KFC/Taco will be open from 9:30 a.m. to midnight, Sunday through Thursday, and 9:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. on weekends. The restaurant employs 55 people and is staffed to serve around 1,000 meals a day.
Photo: Richmond KFC/Taco Bell owners Dimple and Rajeev Jain applaud after the flag-raising ceremony at their store yesterday. With them are their children Priya, Divya and Rishab and Rajeev’s parents. (Photo by JoEllen Black/The Daily News)