You may have heard about the big KFC free chicken marketing promotion.  You know the one where Oprah told everybody they’re going to get free chicken (you! and you! and you!) and everyone showed up at KFC’s door expecting — imagine this — free chicken and they were overwhelmed, ran out of free food, and had to stop the promotion.

As my mom say, “it’s a good problem to have” when people are responding so favorably to your marketing that you’re overwhelmed.  Better than the alternative.  Unfortunately, KFC didn’t handle it well (rumor has it their franchisees were not all on board) and is now facing a PR problem.  And not the good kind of problem, Mom.

Unlike, say, Denny’s, which gave away free food and found it to be so successful they did it again.

Chick Fil A Free Sandwich Mondays

Chick Fil A Free Sandwich Mondays

So what’s a fast food restaurant to do?  Give away free chicken!  Or at least that’s what some of the local Chick Fil-A restaurants are doing every Monday in the month of May.  I wouldn’t have known about it except I was craving a milk shake (and no, I’m not pregnant) and Chick Fil-A was on the way.  They had this groovy sign in the drive-thru.  So not as big a promotion as having Oprah tell everyone about it, but I’m sure it’s bringing some folks in on what would otherwise be a slow night.

Which brings me to a marketing point.  Promotions are great for driving traffic or business during off hours.  That’s why minutes cost less during “off-peak” times on your cell phone.  And why Macy’s has a sale during every lame holiday in the winter months when everyone’s broke from Christmas and too cold to go to the mall.