KFC Whanganui is short-staffed — hence the problems at the restaurant, says national spokeswoman Rewa Willis.

On Sunday the restaurant had to be closed and only the drive-through was open for those seeking a fast-food fix.

Pedestrians who could not access the restaurant also tried lining up at the drive-through only to be turned away for safety reasons.

“We are actively recruiting for new staff to be able to resolve these issues,” Willis said.

“When there are insufficient staff for a shift, they cannot operate both the restaurant and drive-through effectively and safely, and need to close.

“On this occasion, a decision was made to close the restaurant and leave the drive-through operating.”

On Sunday, some of those on foot waited in the line of cars for 20 minutes after the restaurant shut its doors.

However, there was no chicken dinner for them when they got to the service window, the manager telling customers that the outlet could only serve those in cars for safety reasons.

One would-be customer said it would have been fairer to keep the restaurant open so everyone could be served.

KFC did not comment on why it closed the restaurant as opposed to the drive-through.

The story sparked plenty of comments on the Wanganui Chronicle Facebook page.

“Maybe KFC headquarters need to step in. I assume they operate on franchise basis, and this franchise obviously can’t run its branch efficiently.” – Nicole Grodotzki

“Just close the place down. Staff moaning that people don’t know the full story, well that is not an acceptable excuse.” – Sue Hercock

“That’s the second time in a week the restaurant has been closed – Waitangi Day the restaurant was shut at 3pm, no reason given. Got in the car for drive-through only to find out they had run out of chicken. Left a complaint message and did get rung with apologies.” – Caroline Steele

“This is not a way to run a business.” – Mike Kendall

“This happened on Friday night as well — they closed at 6pm, and it doesn’t say that you can’t walk through the drive-through so rightfully those people should have been served.” – Jaime Taukamo

“They need more staff. One person forgot our coleslaw and they apologised for it. One person’s attitude does not mean they all have attitude.” – Donna L Ta’ala

“Hey KFC, why don’t you pay the staff more money and look after them better – they can never keep anyone for long.” – Trish Price

“Hire more staff. I went there last month and waited 25mins in line and I was 6th in line. It was an eye opener because I have never waited that long at a KFC line before.” – Wilma Ta’ala