A spokesperson for the Department of Transport has confirmed that the c2c rail franchise has been awarded to KFC ‘with immediate effect.’ The decision was allegedly taken after bosses of the popular fried chicken company convinced government officials that they would be able to operate the rail service with high levels of punctuality and outstanding customer service.

Reginald Batterman, head of the newly-formed KFC Public Transportation Division, spoke to Southend News Network’s Chief Reporter about the ‘exciting diversification’ for the KFC brand. He said: ‘We were approached a few weeks ago by a group of junior ministers who were keen to raise levels of passenger satisfaction on the line.’

‘We explained that all branches of KFC operate with excellent punctuality as 99.9% of meals are served within the timescale that we provide at the tills, and they were also incredibly impressed by the fact that we have installed WiFi across our entire network of restaurants – they asked us to return with a proposal to run services between London, Southend and Shoeburyness and we have come up trumps on this occasion. Our policy of keeping a manager or senior supervisor visible during all peak catering hours was also appreciated.’

KFC’s chief development officer David Barking added that they had also been asked to transfer their award-winning ‘one drink hopper’ policy onto the railway.

He said: ‘Since we changed our main opening hours and meal serving times back in 2015, we have noticed that an increasing number of people have been coming into KFC, buying a single drink and then sitting down and occupying an entire fucking table while others have been buying entire meals and then been forced to eat them while standing up.’

‘Members of staff now approach customers and ask them to vacate their seat during busy periods as it is only fair that people who need our restaurants the longest get to sit down and enjoy their meal.’

We contacted c2c executives for a comment, and nobody was willing to speak to Southend News Network. However, a source within the rail company confirmed that a number of board members had already opened a rival fried chicken shop close to Fenchurch Street Station.

He said: ‘They managed to get a fully-functioning fast food restaurant up and running in a remarkably short time, but there have been a number of teething issues. It was freezing cold outside first thing this morning, and for some reason they had the air conditioning running at full pelt which put a lot of people off.’

‘It got incredibly busy for the lunchtime rush at 12.30pm, but two-thirds of the tables were closed off and lent to the Subway next door.’