Kenny Roger's Roasters

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Jaybomb
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2006/09/21 23:51:22 (permalink)

Kenny Roger's Roasters

I am sorry, but what in the name of country ever happened to Kenny Roger's Roasters?!

I remember that place, with their huge spit of dizzy chicken and their large array of sides. I used to love that place as a kid, and I'll be damned if I know what happened! It always seemed 10 steps above that aweful Boston Market competition.

So does anyone know what happened to Kenny's chicken? Any found memories? I always thought it was a pretty decent chain!
#1

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    45013
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2006/09/22 03:03:33 (permalink)
    Jay,

    Nathan's Famous, famous for their hot dogs, acquired the Kenny Rogers Roasters chain. Check out http://www.nathansfamous.com . According to the site there is just one Kenny Rogers Roasters restaurant still in operation in the U. S. of A., in Ontario, California.

    I miss that place, too!

    #2
    Jaybomb
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2006/09/24 00:17:17 (permalink)
    For some reason I want to damn Nathan's... Why does it feel like they stole away Kenny's? Thank you for the update, but I still want my damn chicken, roasted red potatoes and large shell macaroni and cheese!!!

    They better be mapping out strategies like Napoleon and get backs to the masses ASAP! I can't deal with this KFC, Boston Market, or even Popeye's crap anymore. El sigh.
    #3
    AndreaB
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2006/09/24 03:25:02 (permalink)
    I miss them too, and part of their demise might be that many groceries offer rotisserie chicken and you can pick up the sides in the grocery's deli. It makes one less stop on the way home from work, and well you know how that is.......

    Andrea
    #4
    V960
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2006/09/27 09:29:23 (permalink)
    The Kenny Rogers location in Charlotte, NC was HORRIBLE. Lasted about a year...it was on the same site as the defunct Stamey's Pizza. Now Mai Japanese resturant is there and is wonderful.
    #5
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2006/09/27 10:06:49 (permalink)
    This thread needs to be moved to the FFF
    #6
    PaulBPool
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2006/09/27 10:49:22 (permalink)
    Well, here on Long Island, it seems that Nathan's has acquired the rights to KRR. In the Nathan's shop on Hillside Avenue in New Hyde Park, one can get a traditional Nathan dog, Arthur Treacher's fish 'n' chips, AND Kenny Rogers Roasted chicken.
    Having not tried the stuff at the Nathan's, I can't vouch for it, but I remember when KRR were freestanding stores, the chicken wasn't too bad.
    #7
    45013
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2006/09/28 03:17:34 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by PaulBPool

    Well, here on Long Island, it seems that Nathan's has acquired the rights to KRR. In the Nathan's shop on Hillside Avenue in New Hyde Park, one can get a traditional Nathan dog, Arthur Treacher's fish 'n' chips, AND Kenny Rogers Roasted chicken.
    Having not tried the stuff at the Nathan's, I can't vouch for it, but I remember when KRR were freestanding stores, the chicken wasn't too bad.


    Paul, is Nathan's now co-branding Kenny Rogers Roasters like YUM! Brands does KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and the rest? Even though I am against co-branding (like YUM! is doing with its five brands) in general, I think it is the only way KRR can work.
    #8
    marcbla
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2006/10/09 17:07:38 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by TJ Jackson

    This thread needs to be moved to the FFF
    TJ spends so much time moving threads he should be a tailor
    #9
    ellen4641
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2006/10/10 16:58:04 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by 45013

    Jay,

    Nathan's Famous, famous for their hot dogs, acquired the Kenny Rogers Roasters chain. Check out http://www.nathansfamous.com . According to the site there is just one Kenny Rogers Roasters restaurant still in operation in the U. S. of A., in Ontario, California.

    I miss that place, too!




    I've been to that lone standing Kenny Rogers in ontario, ca.
    It is in the food court of the huge, sprawling Ontario Mills mall.
    I remember when there were more locations, as well
    #10
    zandelda
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2006/11/21 05:07:32 (permalink)
    Does anyone out there have a recipe for their Cucumber Dill Pasta Salad? I used to love this stuff and would always travel miles out of my way to get it whenever I was in a city that had a Kenny Roger's Roasters.
    #11
    Space
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2006/11/26 16:40:54 (permalink)
    When I went to the Philippines last year, I was a little surprised to see more than a few Roasters locations around Manila. I didn't have a chance to stop at one, but every time I drove by one, it was always very busy.
    #12
    I95FastFoodJunkie
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2006/12/18 08:34:14 (permalink)
    I loved Kenny Rogers Roasters chicken, it really was great and much better than Boston Market by a mile, and I've continued to look for it since the one near me closed up, but the people who bought the rights don't seem to be offering the chicken anymore, believe it or not (at least at any location I've been to in Florida). They just keep pushing his "sandwiches". What's up with that?

    My all-time favorite Kenny Rogers ROASTERS story was when he appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and was promoting the restaurant when it first started. Conan was sort of new back then and he pulled a fast one on poor Kenny and made him do a blind taste test to see if he could pick out his chicken from 3 different plates of chicken. It was one of the most uncomfortable and yet funny moments on TV I've ever seen as Kenny Rogers (blindfolded) accidently picked some cheap Time Square chicken joint place with a funny name instead of his own chicken. Normally, these kinds of things are staged and I suspected it was, but the look of horror on Conan O'Brien's face when Kenny picked the wrong and most embarrassing chicken choice possible was obvious. Then Kenny took the blindfold off, there was an odd uncomfortable silence and Conan sort of quickly apologized and went to a quick commercial, and when they came back, Kenny Rogers was gone like the wind! No song, nothing. A very funny TV moment. Maybe that's why the chain didn't last very long.
    #13
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2006/12/18 09:26:57 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by marcbla

    quote:
    Originally posted by TJ Jackson

    This thread needs to be moved to the FFF
    TJ spends so much time moving threads he should be a tailor
    I spend no time moving threads. I am not a moderator.
    #14
    socalbud
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2008/07/18 09:27:27 (permalink)
    I really miss Kenny Rogers Roasters we had one close to my home here in corona, ca. and We used it to cater party's. yummy it was great. IM going to check out Ont mills mall for the only location in calif.
    #15
    GNeedles59
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2008/07/18 10:30:17 (permalink)
    I know this is out of left field, but I had to throw this pic into the mix for this conversation...



    #16
    joerogo
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2008/07/18 10:40:25 (permalink)
    It's The Wood That makes it Good!
    #17
    David_NYC
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2008/07/18 16:17:18 (permalink)
    socalbud,

    When you go to the Ontario Mills mall, please take note how extensive the menu is. There are a lot of references on the web to that last Kenny Rogers location.

    After references to Kenny Rogers food items disappeared off the Nathan's Famous website, I did a little digging and found this:
    http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=113414&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1135892&highlight=

    Nathan's sold the brand to the Asian master franchisor:
    The Asian web site does not give any info:
    http://www.kennyrogers.cc

    At the Nathan's O+O restaurants here in New York, you can not get wood-fired rotisserie chickens. They have typical FF chicken items that they slap the Kenny Rogers name on. The newly revamped Nathan's web site lists chicken items as Nathan's items. Nathan's also sold the Miami Subs brand in 2007. In both these deals, they may have licensed back the rights to use the name.

    The Kenny Rogers Roasters in the Ontario Mills outlet mall is still listed on the mall's web site:
    http://www.simon.com/mall/tenant_details.aspx?ID=1258&TID=63052

    From a recent Nathan's Famous 8-K filing, the place in Ontario, CA is operated by Host International Inc. The place was originally opened by HMS when the mall first opened. Unknown to me is how extensive the menu is compared to the original stand-alone franchises. The original Kenny Rogers organization went bankrupt. Nathan's bought it at bankruptcy preoceedings.
    #18
    KOK
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2008/07/21 14:56:34 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by joerogo
    It's The Wood That makes it Good!
    There was a Kenny Roger's Roaster in Laurel, Md. about five or so years ago. The put 'to go' items in plastic bags with the Roasters logo on them and written on the bag was "It's The Wood That Makes It Good".

    I lost that bag a couple of years ago
    #19
    ces1948
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2008/07/21 16:07:03 (permalink)
    Her in our area it only lasted a few months then suddenly closed one day. It always did a good business as far as I could tell. I found out later the franchisee was the problem and both his locations closed. I thought it was pretty good but also thought Boston Market was OK. We've never had a Boston Market in our area
    #20
    zandelda
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2008/07/21 21:30:28 (permalink)
    Boston Market does not even compare to Kenny Roger's Roasters. Their chicken is not as juicy & flavorful and the sides are horrible in comparison to the wonderful ones offered at KRR! I just wish the people with the proper financial backing would listen to some of these comments and get the show on the road and open then back up again!!! I MISS KENNY ROGER'S ROASTERS!
    #21
    David_NYC
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2008/07/21 23:16:04 (permalink)
    zandelda,
    Back in the early 90's, I used to go to a KRR across the street from Sherman Square here in NYC. That was the park featured in the 1971 movie "The Panic in Needle Park". It closed after a few years, though they seemed to do a fairly brisk business. I think for all practical purposes that KRR is a dead chain.
    #22
    Robearjr
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2008/07/21 23:21:05 (permalink)
    Kramer: "Bad Chicken. Mess you up!"
    #23
    45013
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2008/07/22 01:50:45 (permalink)
    I happen to have a plastic beverage cup I purchased at a Kenny Rogers Roasters here in Dayton in my apartment, but unfortunately it is badly faded.

    As I type this, "Daytime Friends" by Kenny is playing on the radio (WSM 650 out of Nashville, which gets a reasonable signal here)!
    #24
    caratzas
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2008/07/22 03:53:45 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by zandelda

    Boston Market does not even compare to Kenny Roger's Roasters.
    Yeah, KRR had the superior product by far. Anybody in the know as to what did 'em in -- overexpansion? Bad marketing? Bad business model?
    #25
    Robearjr
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2008/07/22 20:12:58 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by caratzas

    quote:
    Originally posted by zandelda

    Boston Market does not even compare to Kenny Roger's Roasters.
    Yeah, KRR had the superior product by far. Anybody in the know as to what did 'em in -- overexpansion? Bad marketing? Bad business model?


    I heard the owner had a gambling problem.

    oy, well, the can't all be gems.
    #26
    caratzas
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2008/07/23 15:35:39 (permalink)
    *rim shot*
    #27
    Food_lover_MI
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2009/08/02 04:22:50 (permalink)
    I should give you a little background before I respond to this. I worked at Kenny Rogers Roasters as a manager (in charge of payroll, running shifts, customer service, and daily sales and labor paperwork, in addition to anything else that needed to be done) in Flint, MI from 07/1999 to 07/2003. We closed and went out of business just before the 4th of July that year. The first 2 years I was there we served just the Kenny Rogers menu (chicken, turkey, ribs, sides, muffins, (amazing) chocolate cake, etc.) Even though, KRR, was acquired much earlier, we finally remodeled sometime in 2001 to accommodate the Nathans Famous offerings. Since I started in 1999 through just before the remodel we had seen a steady decline in sales. After the remodel, which included select menu items from Nathans Famous, Arthur Treachers, and Miami Subs, in addition to the previously offered KRR menu, we saw between at least 300-400% increase in sales from the same month the prior year. This went on for about 3-4 months and then sales completely dropped off back to where they were prior to the remodel. The owners of the franchise I worked at tried to hold on as long as they could, but finally it was just too much, we started losing money each month after all the bills were paid and you can only do that so long before you have to so something about it. So, I worked my last day there in July 2003. (We were the last store remaining in MI when we closed our doors, the location in Saginaw, MI has just closed its doors 6 months prior). It was an awesome place to work and even though I have since graduated college and moved into an accounting career, I will always miss working there. I miss our customers, co-workers, and the food. It was the best job I have ever had in my 10 year span working in the food industry and if it were still open, I would probably even be working part time in addition to my full time job. That's how much I like it there!! We did not, and as far as I know still do not have a local Boston Market. The only somewhat "similar" chicken chain in Flint is Ya Ya's, which I consider to be a far inferior chain to KRR. We also have a KFC, but the one near where we were located did not open until after our doors closed. I would attribute part of our lower sales to the location as even toward the end I had talked to people in Flint who either had no idea where we were or that we even existed, but it had to be more than that...I mean our location was open for 9 years, so something within the economy must have changed within the last few years we were open...and mind you this was back in 2003, much before the current decline we are in had started. I know that over time our prices had also slowly, but steadily increased so that may have been a contributing factor, and maybe because we weren't quite a sit-down restaurant nor were we a fast food restaurant....in my opinion we were a cross between the two. Maybe that had a little to do with it too. I think that there were many contributing factors and it is hard to pinpoint just one, but I sooo miss that food. I loved our chicken, turkey, and ribs, the corn muffins were soo good also. And the chocolate cake...let me tell you if you never tried that cake, you missed out so much. It was absolutely delicious. Well, I hope this gives you a little insight into the MI locations and background in what happened to us. I am really glad to hear that there are so many people out there that miss that food too. I wish that I had the money to try to open one in or near each of the towns you live, including mine, but sadly I don't think very many people have that kind of money. Have a great day!
    #28
    plb
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2009/08/02 09:21:26 (permalink)
    There is one in the Beijing, China airport.
    #29
    Beverly K
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    RE: Kenny Roger's Roasters 2009/08/02 11:59:03 (permalink)
    I remember eating at one of the first of these, on West End Avenue in Nashville, pretty much right after it opened. I think  it was in the early 90s. The food was wonderful, especially the Stuffin' Muffins. Whenever my friends and I would go the Nashville over the next several years, it was a regular stop.
     
    They never were really in this part of of the country, but the closest I remember to York was in Timonium, MD, but the food was nothing like the Nashville location. That disappeared in the late 90s, I believe.
     
    I had heard that Kenny complained he had absolutely nothing to do with this chain, but I really don't believe it as there were commercials with him in them all over the place. I think he just wanted to get out from it when the quality of the food started to slide.
    #30
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