KFC announced on Tuesday its decision to temporarily close down two stores in Pattani and another one in Yala, following a rumour circulating last week that it would do so on intensifying violence in the Deep South.
In a statement, it emphasised the commitment to Thailand, where it still sees great growth potential.
"We currently operate more than 500 stores and plan to expand more than 50 nationwide this year. In the southern region, KFC now operates 65 stores and will add 10 more this year and another 10 in 2015. We are striving to produce and develop quality products and services with higher purpose to enrich the lives of Thais," it said.
KFC reasoned that the three stores in the Deep South will be closed because the company has faced difficulties in upgrading the stores.
Having been operating for more than 10 years, the stores need to be renovated to meet the operational standards.
"Unfortunately, the present local circumstances make it hard to perform any repairing or renovation works as well as regular equipment maintenance due to difficulties in transportation and finding staff and contractors to work in the area," it said.
While saying that the closure is temporary, the company said it will study operating solutions and find more suitable locations.
"Once ready, we will certainly resume service for our beloved customers. We hereby would like to express our appreciation to our customers for their continuous support and hope they will understand the present situation as well as our necessity in closing down these stores."
The staff are offered relocation programmes, to work at other stores. In total, 13 decided to take up the opportunity.
In the statement, it also insisted that the decision is not connected with the Halal-certified matter.