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KFC aims for more upscale image

| Thursday, July 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

KFC is tossing out the bones and the quaint image of founder Col. Harland Sanders as it gets ready to test a slightly more upmarket restaurant.

The fried chicken chain said it's opening a location called “KFC eleven” early next month near its headquarters in Louisville, Ky., that will serve flatbread sandwiches, rice bowls, salads and only boneless pieces of its Original Recipe chicken.

The restaurant's exterior won't feature Sanders, whose bespectacled, white-bearded likeness has long been front-and-center at traditional KFC locations. But the name of the test restaurant is a reference to the 11 herbs and spices Sanders used in the Original Recipe.

KFC eleven's opening is a reflection of the challenges facing traditional fast-food chains such as McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's. The problem is that people in their 20s and 30s are increasingly heading to chains such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread, where they feel they get better food for slightly higher prices.

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