American fast food giant KFC has opened its first Lei Feng-themed restaurant in the hometown of the Mao Zedong-era model soldier lauded by the Chinese authorities for his selflessness. The restaurant opened its doors on Sunday in the Hunan provincial capital of Changsha, Lei’s hometown, just in time for the annual Lei Feng Day on March 5, municipal news portal Voc.com.cn reported. The restaurant chain, which is known for its localisation strategies, said the outlet would help promote the spirit of the legendary soldier who died in 1962 aged 21 and is celebrated for his extreme devotion to the ruling Communist Party and Mao. The restaurant’s walls are covered in images and quotes from Lei, and the restaurant will host regular activities to encourage people to learn from the model soldier, the report said. The KFC China story: how Taiwanese businessman Tony Wang Tatung introduced a nation to fast food, and why there are no Chinese franchises overseas At the restaurant’s opening, He Min, general manager for KFC’s Hunan market, said it was part of a bigger project in the company to promote Lei. “We are going to hold several activities telling the story of Lei to children around the province later this year, so as to let them learn from him when they are young and let the spirit of Lei pass to the new generation,” he was quoted as saying. How Comrade Lei Feng taught me that communist ‘Red Army’ legends have no place in Hong Kong schools As part of the project, KFC will also allow street cleaners employed by the government to use its restaurants in Hunan as refreshment stops where they can take a rest and get some water, the report said. Lei has been held up as a national hero since his death and every year people in China, especially schoolchildren, are encouraged to follow his example, though there have been some suggestions that he was a fictional creation of the government’s propaganda machine. KFC opened its first restaurant in mainland China in Tiananmen Square in 1987 and has worked hard to adapt its menu to local tastes by selling Chinese-style food ranging from deep-fried dough sticks to Sichuan spicy chicken rice.