KFC closes restaurants in Kihei, Lahaina

Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in Kihei and Lahaina have closed recently due to lighter than expected sales and traffic, said Kazi Foods of Hawaii, the franchisee of KFC Hawaii.

“We truly appreciate all of our customers’ support at both locations throughout all the years,” said Steve Johnson, KFC Hawaii’s general manager, in an email.

The only remaining KFC on Maui is in Kahului.

The Lahaina eatery had 12 employees, with one transferring to Kahului. Others were part-time employees who had full-time jobs elsewhere so they did not transfer to Kahului, restaurant officials said. The Kihei restaurant had six employees, with two transferring to Kahului. The rest decided to look for employment elsewhere, KFC officials said.

There are no immediate plans to open any new KFC restaurants on Maui, as the company focus will be on strengthening the Kahului restaurant on Wakea Avenue, Johnson added.

Johnson said the Kihei restaurant had issues with insufficient parking and its drive-through, which was difficult to enter and exit. These issues affected sales and traffic.

He added that similarly, sales and traffic had been lighter than what the company had hoped for in Lahaina.

Any vouchers for the Lahaina restaurant may be redeemed at any other KFC Hawaii restaurant.