KFC opens at former Long John Silvers location

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Ever since the new Kentucky Fried Chicken opened on Saturday, Dec. 28, a steady stream of traffic has flooded the restaurant chain with non-stop service.

Sandy Brown, director of operations for Ampex Brands, said the company owns more than 200 KFCs. While Ampex Brands is out of Richardson, Texas, she’s based in Oklahoma City. But she’s been living at the Holiday Inn Express in Altus for more than two months overseeing the conversion of the building from a Long John Silvers to a KFC near the junction of Falcon Road and Main Street.

Brown said the entire staff, including the manager, has been hired from Altus.

And why did Ampex Brands decide to open a KFC after two previous KFCs in Altus had failed? She said the company looks at the size of the community and demographics as well as competition to determine where to place the fast-food chain. She highlighted the rural farm community as well as major employers such as the Bar-S and Altus Air Force Base.

One key factor, she said, was that there’s not another KFC within an hour’s drive of Altus, and she hopes the restaurant will pull from surrounding communities.

In an article in the Dallas Business Journal two years ago, CEO Tabbassum Mumtaz said at that time Ampex Brands owned 218 KFCs, 128 Pizza Huts, 38 Taco Bells, 68 Long John Silvers and 49 Tim Hortons. It also owns A&Ws and other restaurant franchises and 7-11 stores.

Brown said the city government and the community have been welcoming. She said as the company worked with local contractors who transformed the building, she got to know employees at Ace Hardware and Harbor Freight.

As for that opening on Dec. 28, Brown said the turnout exceeded her goal. “We’re glad to be a part of the community,” she said.

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