#ChickenSad: Case Study

chickensad featured image

I’m running way behind on my blog posts to you guys and I apologize for that. 🙁

We have spent the past couple of blog posts doing some introduction on basic system types. I hope you find them informational and feel free to let us know if you have questions by emailing us through hello@creatinginfo.com. For today, I am taking a break from the informational piece and going back to general interest.

As I was trying to scout for relevant technology topic to discuss, the #ChickenSad Craze really spark my curiosity.

#ChickenSad Phenomenon

In case you are not updated with the news or was out of social media for a while, Jollibee ran out of ChickenJoy and a bunch of other popular items on the menu starting August 1. Due to its limited menu, it eventually lead to having at least 72 stores shut down mostly in Metro Manila. According to their press release, the reason is because they had a system glitch after a system upgrade that made them unable to deliver supply over to their branches causing the shut down.

Jollibee fans then took their frustration over to social media that eventually made #ChickenSad a trending topic. I found this article of 8 Stages of Grief according to #ChickenSad that described several tweets made by Jollibee customers. If you have the extra time, this is an amusing read. My favorite is this, haha! 🙂


I’ve worked with many large system migrations in the past. We have encountered a couple of “computer glitches” that eventually landed on the news. But these systems are highly operational in nature – like airlines – and it is easy to understand the public’s outrage because they can’t get to where they needed to be. But what’s with #ChickenSad? There’s still a lot of other restaurants there that sells chickens that they can go to. I guess it says a lot about how Jollibee had truly captured the Filipinos hearts – and how IT can really affect their business and the masses.

The IT Dilemma

Some of my friends argued that they don’t buy the IT glitch explanation. They think that this is related to raw materials input that Jollibee didn’t disclose. But for the sake of this discussion, we will assume that the press releases are true and that this is driven by an IT system breakdown. According to Jollibee’s press release in Inquirer.Net:

1. Jollibee spent P500 Million in 2014 on a new system that will integrate store information systems.

2. The new system was migrated on August 1. After the system upgrade, the overall Jollibee network experienced a slowdown in sales order taking, product loading and dispatch of transportation.

3. Jollibee had enough raw materials for the month of August and the months after. But because of the system glitch, these raw materials are left stored in various commissaries. Take note that of course these raw materials are perishable.

4. The limited availability of certain food items led to the temporary closure of 72 stores of Jollibee food brand which is about 6 percent of its overall network.

5. Jollibee’s competitors like KFC and Mc Donald’s are joining in on this bandwagon by running negative campaigns and for sure experiencing the increased demand for Chicken that Jollibee couldn’t serve.

 Lessons Learned

1. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems like that of Jollibee are both extensive and expensive. To support an operation like Jollibee that had 2,240 stores nationwide not even counting their commissaries and logistics centers are large scale operation. The system, when its working, orchestrate the operation end to end just for Jollibee to be able to serve you ChickenJoy.

2. An effective Inventory system is required to properly plan, forecast, and deliver the inventory all the way to the stores to meet demands. Failure to do so, causes the company to lose its customers to its competitors, or worse, lose their loyalty altogether.

3. System upgrades are no joke. It requires a lot of preparation, disaster recovery plan, even manual backup options in case the system didn’t push through as plans. When a cut-over plan fails, this can cause the organization millions up to billions of sales per day that will never be recovered anymore.

It is important to work with reliable vendor with a good level of experience in doing cut overs. I am sure that Jollibee will do their best to make up for this and to ensure the system glitch never happens again. We wish them all the best because we want our chicken joys and not be #ChickenSad anymore. 🙂

Featured Image is courtesy of Pepper.ph