Kentucky Fried Chicken will give away single pieces of its new grilled chicken on Monday, a day before El Pollo Loco gives away two pieces of its grilled chicken.
KFC began selling what is has billed as both "Kentucky Grilled Chicken" and KGC on April 14, what its president, Roger Eaton, called "a defining moment in our brand's storied history."
The chicken giveaway is part of a marketing campaigning designed to show that "KFC is not too chicken to think outside the bucket," according to a company executive.
The campaign began April 14 with the unveiling of the grilled chicken at New York City's famed Friars Club, which it dubbed as the "UNFriars Club" for the event.
A Web site, unthinkkfc.com, was established, which includes inviting visitors to upload videos of themselves dancing to music supplied by KFC while holding pieces of the grilled chicken.
The site's title is an attempt to change the perception that it only offers fried chicken, which has fallen out of favor as the American public has grown more health conscious. To further bolster that message, the company is declaring Monday as "UNFry Day."
In a response, Costa Mesa-based El Pollo Loco will give away a leg and thigh of its flame-grilled chicken along with two tortillas and fresh salsa Tuesday at all its locations except Universal Studios Hollywood and the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Conn.
El Pollo Loco Chief Executive Officer Steve Carley challenged KFC to a public, side-by-side taste test.
"Let's see if our opponent is too chicken to go at it toe-to-toe -- or rather leg-to-leg -- in a taste test," Carley said.
Both companies have established accounts on the microblogging Web site,Twitter.com, inviting customers to share their thoughts on the grilled chicken,140 characters at a time. KFC's account is twitter.com/KFC_colonel and El Pollo Loco's is twitter.com/elpolloloinc.
Kentucky Fried Chicken and El Pollo Loco are the latest restaurant chains to offer free food this year. Denny's gave away Grand Slam breakfasts Feb. 3. IHOP gave away free pancakes on its third annual National Pancake Day, Feb. 24, the same day Jack in the Box gave away two free tacos as part of the marketing campaign centered around the fate of its "founder" Jack I. Box.