Viability?

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Hassata
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2005/09/20 10:23:17 (permalink)

Viability?

Hi:

I'm in an Asian market saturated with all the large quick service chains. In terms of chicken, KFC is king. There are a couple of local chains which have fried chicken on the menu, but not a specialty.

For any of the experts out there, do you think there is room for a medium sized location selling just Broasted (in accordance with their equipment and recipe) chicken, potato wedges and biscuits?

The idea is to serve a box of 4 or 8 pieces with all the above and a soda for a set price. The emphasis would be on quality (what else can we compete on), with fresh ingredients used daily, and cooking as close to order as feasible.

If KFC and the local chains sell a 3 piece plate for 12, we would sell the 4 piece box, wedges, biscuit and soda for 15.

Is this a recipe for disaster?

Thanks
#1

25 Replies Related Threads

    V960
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/20 11:14:34 (permalink)
    Very difficult to answer w/o more idea of the neighborhood. Competing w/ a chain is usually easy, but if the chain is really more a local place it can be difficult.

    Have a very spicy offering and a bland one and you are away from the chain.
    #2
    Hassata
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/20 13:42:50 (permalink)
    Thanks for the quick response. So assuming I can substancially diffrenciate by things like quality and spicing, I won't get clobberd by the big chains sourcing at a lower price and selling for a bit lower, at least iniatially ?

    One other question for anyone who might know, does going with a branded Broasted solution (their spices, marinade and equipment) an unecessarey expenditure. Should I come up with my oun recipe and use Henny Penny?

    Many thanks
    #3
    V960
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/20 13:51:51 (permalink)
    Your mooney...your choice but going w/ a franchise brand puts you head to head w/ KFC, Church's and Bojangles. Make sure everyone who rides by knows you're local and the owner is in the kitchen. Have pictures of chickens on the walls..."yesterday we were walking, today we're on your plate" kind of stuff.

    You have to do the things the chains won't do to beat their margins. Just my $.02 worth.

    Sold the concession trailer two days ago. Watched it ride off into the sunset (really did). Nice to have a big wad of cash but my wife caught me reading ebay postings for another trailer today. Maybe next year.
    #4
    Hassata
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/20 14:01:25 (permalink)
    If I understood correctly, I tink you get the Broasted stuff, but can still brand as your own-I hope. There are no licensing fees or franchise etc., and it may be a good shortcut as I am not a recipe king. Thank's alot for the insight and good luck with your next venture
    #5
    V960
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/20 14:36:30 (permalink)
    Just a suggestion but look at some of the mixes from Penzey's Spice Co.

    http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/shophome.html

    I really dislike their web site but he catalog is worth getting. I've been a satisfied customer since the time when the catalog was a one page mimographed flyer fifteen years ago.

    Their cinnamon is fantastic. Also the vanilla extract.

    #6
    UncleVic
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/20 15:41:18 (permalink)
    No franchise or royalty fees on broasted. You just have to use their methods and ingredients to be able to use the "broasted" name. You can call this chicken anything you want... But Broasted is a well known name across the country (like KFC, McD's, etc), so you expect the same quality / flavor from establishment to establishment. You can always buy a broasted chicken pressure fryer, use your own marinade and flour mix, come out about the same texture and flavor wise, but not be able to use their name.. (Which is the way I would go... Then you can play with the flavors)..
    #7
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/20 16:00:09 (permalink)
    I was under the impression that you had to use their equipment.
    #8
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/20 16:02:05 (permalink)
    I just checked. You have to buy a Broaster, which is a pressure fryer, and use their seasonings in order to sell Broasted chicken.
    #9
    V960
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/20 17:33:50 (permalink)
    Just cal it Baarrroasted. They may or may not come after you. I think I have just encouraged trademark infringement. Guess Hell will be w/ an electric fan.
    #10
    Hassata
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/20 17:34:20 (permalink)
    I dont mind buying the equipment as long as its on par price wisew ith (e.g. Henny Penny). Going with spices and marinade would be mostly for ease of start up as quickly as possible, although thanks for the Penzeys rec as I will definetly look into that. I could always switch to something home-made at a later date if I can do so without alienating early customers.

    I am just initially worried that there is no place for a quality bird place served quick service style at a price higher than, but in the physical vicinty of, KFCs and the like.

    Would selling 50 meals a day be considored a good goal, or is 100 possible if in a highly dense urban environment. What's a reasonable goal to go for, as I'd work back from there in terms of setting up the place-assuming financing comes through.

    Thanks for all the input as it seems a daunting road to go down.
    #11
    V960
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/20 19:23:04 (permalink)
    Broasted has the connation of roasting and braising, IMHO anyway, which would rule out pressure frying. I'm not going to do the research but getting a rotisere off eaby would seeem the way to go.

    Have what do I know...
    #12
    Adjudicator
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/20 19:39:16 (permalink)
    IMO the market is over-saturated with establishments offering some kind of chicken or poultry product. Chicken, chicken, chicken...
    #13
    festivalfood
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/20 22:50:53 (permalink)
    Hassata
    I have owned 2 restaurants,one was a pizza place(set up like a sbarro's),and the second one being a Fried chicken ,rib and fried seafood place.Our fried chicken place was mostly take out and delivery,with delivery being the majority of ouR business,we would get slammed every Friday and Saturday night,and it was like fighting a fast paced war trying to keep up.We used Henny Penny pressure fryers(although I also own broasters,and chester fried fryers),and bought our breading from our poultry supplier,but we kicked it up with some of our own spices and people loved our chicken.If you plan on using Broasters,and selling it as broasted chicken,you have to buy your breading from them.If you are in a highly populated urban area you would not have to deliver,and before I opened up the chicken place I studied the fried chicken concept all over the tri state area,in suburban areas(places like chicken Delight,and chicken and rib crib)and in urban areas of NY,NJ,PHILLY etc(places like Kennedy fried chicken,and a bunch of other places with names of states,usually owned by guys from Afghanistan.They used three phase electric Winston collectramatic fryers).The suburban places all delivered,and the urban places usually did not,and some of the urban places had bullet proof glass,and a bullet proof glass turnstyle that you put your money in and they spun it around and spun your order back to you.A little too dangerous to deliver in those neighborhoods,and if your in an urban setting you know what I mean.We tried Rotiserrie,and it was a pain in the ass,and it did not sell,that's one of the reasons (among many) that you see so many Boston Markets going under.I was buying those $10k rotisseries from closed Boston Markets for $100,and would resell them to some equipment dealers who had people looking for rotisseries.Rotisserie works well in some areas were there are Spanish speaking people,and Brazillian people,just an observation from studying the market,nothing scientific.But fried chicken is the way to go if you want to sell large orders of chicken fast.We could cook 80 pieces of chicken every 15 minutes with our 2 Henny Pennys,and we also used Henny Penny ,and Alto Shamm holding cabinets to get ahead of the rush on busy nights.In my opinion Henny Pennys are the way to go,They are the Rolls Royce of pressure fryers,and are more sturdy,and built better than all the others,and I have owned most brands but used the Henny Penny's.As far as viability,I know of some tiny hole in the wall Fried chicken Places in some big cities that do $10k to $15k or more a week in sales,and those figures are from my supplier who was one of the biggest on the east coast,and supplied all the major chains,and they pretty much knew your volume by the amount of food and supplies that you buy(so does uncle Sam,The government audits food suppliers to better keep an eye on cash businesses,so just remember that when you do your books!LoL.If you do your home work,have the capital,find a good location and work your butt off it is definately a viable money making venture,and Good Luck if you plan on getting into it.
    Jim
    #14
    festivalfood
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/20 22:52:32 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by festivalfood

    Hassata
    I have owned 2 restaurants,one was a pizza place(set up like a sbarro's),and the second one being a Fried chicken ,rib and fried seafood place.Our fried chicken place was mostly take out and delivery,with delivery being the majority of ouR business,we would get slammed every Friday and Saturday night,and it was like fighting a fast paced war trying to keep up.We used Henny Penny pressure fryers(although I also own broasters,and chester fried fryers),and bought our breading from our poultry supplier,but we kicked it up with some of our own spices and people loved our chicken.If you plan on using Broasters,and selling it as broasted chicken,you have to buy your breading from them.If you are in a highly populated urban area you would not have to deliver,and before I opened up the chicken place I studied the fried chicken concept all over the tri state area,in suburban areas(places like chicken Delight,and chicken and rib crib)and in urban areas of NY,NJ,PHILLY etc(places like Kennedy fried chicken,and a bunch of other places with names of states,usually owned by guys from Afghanistan.They used three phase electric Winston collectramatic fryers).The suburban places all delivered,and the urban places usually did not,and some of the urban places had bullet proof glass,and a bullet proof glass turnstyle that you put your money in and they spun it around and spun your order back to you.A little too dangerous to deliver in those neighborhoods,and if your in an urban setting you know what I mean.We tried Rotiserrie,and it was a pain in the ass,and it did not sell,that's one of the reasons (among many) that you see so many Boston Markets going under.I was buying those $10k rotisseries from closed Boston Markets for $100,and would resell them to some equipment dealers who had people looking for rotisseries.Rotisserie works well in some areas were there are Spanish speaking people,and Brazillian people,just an observation from studying the market,nothing scientific.But fried chicken is the way to go if you want to sell large orders of chicken fast.We could cook 80 pieces of chicken every 15 minutes with our 2 Henny Pennys,and we also used Henny Penny ,and Alto Shamm holding cabinets to get ahead of the rush on busy nights.In my opinion Henny Pennys are the way to go,They are the Rolls Royce of pressure fryers,and are more sturdy,and built better than all the others,and I have owned most brands but used the Henny Penny's.As far as viability,I know of some tiny hole in the wall Fried chicken Places in some big cities that do $10k to $15k or more a week in sales,and those figures are from my supplier who was one of the biggest on the east coast,and supplied all the major chains,and they pretty much knew your volume by the amount of food and supplies that you buy(so does uncle Sam,The government audits food suppliers to better keep an eye on cash businesses,so just remember that when you do your books!LoL.If you do your home work,have the capital,find a good location and work your butt off it is definately a viable money making venture,and Good Luck if you plan on getting into it.
    Jim
    #15
    Hassata
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/20 22:59:52 (permalink)
    Many thanks to all for your views, and thanks Jim for the detailed response. Jim: what would you say is the margin per bird in an urband enviroment, roughly speaking, and looking back, was the chicken or the pizza place more profitable and rewarding personally in proportion to the effort put in? I ask, because a pizza restaurant or even a pizza franchise may be other options, although my passion is for fried chicken.

    Thanks again all
    #16
    V960
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/21 08:37:37 (permalink)
    Listen to festivalfood not me. I've only rarely had chicken on my menu. Only chickens we've raised. We never sold them fried only braised over rice or in a gumbo. Great taste but tough as hell unless low and slow cooked.
    #17
    festivalfood
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/21 23:48:46 (permalink)
    Your welcome Hassata.I would have to say I enjoyed the Chicken and Rib Place more than the pizza place.The pizza place was in an urban area,and the chicken and rib place was in a suburban area,and since we delivered we got to know many people in the town,and became friends with many of them.As far as profitability,they both have many differences and with the dinner time deliveries,the chicken and rib place had higher ticket prices with orders over $50.00 very commmon,not so common with a pizza place,atleast mine.If you do fried chicken from scratch you have to use fresh chicken,which is roughly good for three days before you have to toss it out if you don't use it,pizza ingredients last a lot longer.I had my chicken place about 7 years ago and if I remember right the chicken that we used was around $1.00 lb,and we used 3 pound birds,which many places use a 2 1/2 lb. bird,but the half pound made a big difference in the size of our pieces,especially the breast pieces,and people always commented on it.Another thing is that we used an 8 piece cut which is standard in the industry,but many places in urban areas use a 9 piece cut,they cut the breast in 3 pieces, instead of in half,and squeeze an extra piece out of a chicken,pretty cheesy if you ask me.We called the 9 piece cut the "ghetto cut" because that is the only place I seen that done,but the prices in those places are cheaper.If you are in a low income,urban area you have to keep the prices low,or the customers will complain,since many of them have nothing better to do lol! When I bought my pizza place,the previous owner had a $2.75 lunch special,2 slices and a 16oz. fountain soda,which is ridiculously low.I changed it to $3.25(still low!),and I had to listen to people complain for over a month"Yo Man!! Three and a quarter,What you Crazy!!!"People in the suburbs are not so vocal about small price increases .I found out that all chicken is not the same.One busy friday,I ran out of chicken,and did not have time to go to my distributor,or get any delivered.I called up a local meat supplier and bought 10 cases of chicken.We washed them ,breaded them and put them in the fryer.When the timer went off and the pressure released,I opened the fryer lid to discover that all the breading came off,and the pieces were"bald",I had no idea why.We had to close early that night.I found out that the chicken we bought from our supplier was specially prepared for frying.The frying chicken is a white color,because the outer skin is scalded off,and if you use a regular chicken that did not go through that process,it is yellow with the outer skin intact,which the breading will not stay on when you put it in a pressure fryer.That was a nerve racking lesson I learned the hard way.I was lucky,that I worked in a high volume pizza place when I was in high school,and pretty much knew that business.As far as the chicken and rib business,when I was researching that business I became friends with a young guy who owned a busy chicken and rib place,and I would go there at night and work for free a couple of nights a week,and he taught me that business inside out,recipes,equipment,marketing,etc.I was lucky to find him,and that he was very generous with his time and knowledge.He sold the place not soon after,and trades stocks now and last I heard he does very well.He was the kind of guy that would do great at anything.
    Sorry about the long post,this is just a subject I am passionate about.I forget the actual margin on chicken when I was in the business,it also depends on what area you are in,and what you can charge.We had a 2 piece and one side order with a can of soda lunch special for $4.99 that did very well,and our most popular night time order was a 16 piece,2lbs of salad(potato,macaroni or cole slaw) and a box of fries or mash potatoes for $19.99 that was our biggest seller at night,especially for delivery. I would really think twice about a franchise,unless you have an obscene amount of money to spend,and like being told what to do all the time,and having a silent partner take a percentage of every dollar you make.For some people it's the way to go,for me I never had that kind of money,or the desire to borrow that kind of money,and I like making decisions on my own if it is my place.If I were you I would go with the chicken and rib concept,since it is your passion.There are way less of them around to compete with,there are pizza places on almost every corner it seems,and it is a tough business, the food business,better to do something your passionate about,it exponentially increases your chances of success,especilly if you do your homework before you leap in,and it seems like you are doing your homework!
    Gotta go,and again,sorry about the long rambling post about the chicken and rib business,I can talk about it like most guys can talk about football!!
    Take Care
    Jim
    #18
    Hassata
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/22 08:10:03 (permalink)
    Many, many thanks for the detailed response Jim. It's invaluable to get this stuff from someone who has been in the business, and I appreciate the lengthy response. I'll probably bother you again at some point with more questions. Please email me here tash511[at]hotmail.com when you get a chance.
    #19
    Theedge
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/22 09:04:33 (permalink)
    I had wondered about the size of chicken breasts. Our local Hy-Vee deli used to have very good broasted chicken, something changed and there’s hardly any meat on the bones anymore. Now I have a Supervalu just a few blocks down from work that must use larger birds. I like white meat and they offer a two breast meal with two sides and a bun for around $4.50. Quite a value if you ask me, I’d pay 5-6 bucks.
    #20
    nvb
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/22 09:29:25 (permalink)
    When I checked in to buying chickens wholesale I was told I had to buy a minimum of 45 birds at a time. Since there was no way I could sell that many I had to buy retail and charge more. They were hard to sell and I had to drop the chicken item from my menu.
    #21
    festivalfood
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/23 00:10:43 (permalink)
    Hassata your Very welcome.I like talking about the chicken and rib business.I use to talk about it so much,my friends use to jokingly call me "The Colonel"! Lol! I'll email you over the weekend,I'll be out of town until Sunday.

    Theedge- 2 breasts and 2 sides with a bun for $4.50 is dirt cheap!We offered 2 piece meals but they were either 2 dark or 2 white pieces,if someone wanted to substitute one for a breast we charged extra.I remember when people would call up and order our 16 piece meal with sides and fries and they would say"Could we have all breasts?we like breasts only." I told them there is an extra charge and would more than double the price of the meal,and they would seem confused as to why?Lol!I like the people who liked thighs,thighs are the least favorite of chicken pieces,atleast in the suburbs,we always ended up with lots of thighs at the end of the night.I had this rich guy who would come in at the end of the night and order a bucket of thighs,and I would always throw in a bunch extra.It worked out down the road for us,we ended up catering his company picnic which was nice.
    Slick- If I remember right the chicken came in approximately 30lb cases and 70lb cases,and the 70lb cases had about 23 birds in them.You did have to have a sales tax license to buy wholesale from our suppliers.They did have a minimum order for delivery,but not if you picked it up.
    Take Care
    Jim
    #22
    Hassata
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    RE: Viability? 2005/09/25 11:55:28 (permalink)
    Please email when you get the chance festivalfood .
    #23
    rwb
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    RE: Viability? 2005/10/16 18:12:22 (permalink)
    WOW Just happened to find this blog...great. We just moved to the Pacific Northwest from Indiana. Dissapointed that we are unable to find Broasted Chicken. In fact most people don't even know what it is. Does that mean that Broasted Chicken has not been successful in the "Blue States" or could it an opportunity. I have sold Insurance for 25 years and am ready for something entirely different. Thanks for any feedback.
    #24
    Burgerman1
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    RE: Viability? 2005/10/17 13:11:34 (permalink)
    Festivalfood....good response to his question.

    However, looking at it from a different point of view, I would be more interested in where you are going to locate this venture. I think that will determine more of your success or failure than the type of chcicken you deccide to sell.

    HB
    #25
    jojobeans
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    RE: Viability? 2005/11/04 01:18:32 (permalink)
    ewb
    I sold food for a long time and was thinking of selling prepaid leguel services and identity theft protection. Get the point? We all get board with what we do sooner or later. Whats Broasted Chicken???
    #26
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