Can You Buy Food With Bitcoin? KFC Canada Offers Fried Chicken For Cryptocurrency

The Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in Canada (not to be confused with all KFC branches, sorry Silicon Valley) is running a bitcoin-fueled marketing campaign: The Bitcoin Bucket. People can now buy a bucket of fried chicken with bitcoin. For a limited time, KFC Canada has a bitcoin price calculator (using Canadian dollars, of course) on its Facebook and is offering online bitcoin orders through BitPay.

The KFC Canada Twitter account has gone full “crypto Twitter,” tweeting about everything from anonymous bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto to the possibility of someday accepting other cryptocurrencies for similar online orders. The bitcoin community is reacting with gleeful tweets of their own.

This isn’t the first time fast food restaurants accept bitcoin. A Pennsylvania Subway branch accepted bitcoin for sandwiches, at the register and not only online, back in 2013. According to one customer’s blog post, Subway employees said more than 100 bitcoin fans drove for miles to buy food with digital currency. Now there are dozens of restaurants around the world that accept bitcoin, including posh San Francisco eateries and a small family-run Suryawanshi restaurant in Bengaluru, India.

“Bitcoin; it’s here to stay. And it’s not just bitcoin, it is all of the cryptocurrencies,” Australian restaurant and brewery owner David Pollard told the Daily Mercury. “We are going to have to get our heads around it, we are going to have to learn it because it’s going to become a way of our life.”

Now that many companies beyond the tech industry have seen their stock prices soar by adding words like “blockchain” to their brand or products, the food industry is looking to get in on the action too. Bloomberg reported stocks for the Hooters franchise surged 41 percent when Chanticleer Holdings Inc., a Hooters franchise owner, announced plans for a “cryptocurrency rewards program.” The rewards program bore striking resemblance to an initial coin offering token in that the franchise is using its own token rather than offer rewards related to an external, open source cryptocurrency. 

These Hooters “rewards” would work almost like blockchain-based club cards with points for purchases across the franchise owners’ numerous brand, including American Burger Co. and the veggie burger joint BGR. So far, few restaurants have actually leveraged the unique capabilities of blockchain technology or invested in new digital infrastructures for long-term payment options. Marketing efforts tend to mirror old habits or focus on limited-time offers. However, the bitcoin community is still celebrating wider recognition. Mainstream bitcoin transactions are seen as a harbinger of broader cultural shifts to come. 

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