The founders of Chick ‘n’ Sours are to launch a new fast-casual fried chicken concept called CHIK’N, which they hope will eventually have a high street presence across the UK, MCA has learnt.
David Wolanski and Carl Clarke believe there is a gap in the market for a “guilt-free” fried chicken shop, which is geared towards quality, ethics and sustainability, while being affordable for families.
The concept, which is back by Active Partners – the investment firm which backs Honest Burgers, Leon and Caravan, is opening its first site in London’s Baker Street in mid-July, and if successful, they hope to open two more in London this year, with more expansion in Greater London and into the likes of Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds to follow next year.
Wolanski told MCA: “Our whole mission is changing fried chicken for the good. Our aim is to be the fried chicken shop that everyone wants on the high street, not the one they want to get rid of. We want to integrate ourselves onto the community.
“We have been given an opportunity to open this first store, and if we do that well, the world is our oyster. All we need to do is focus and make sure the first one is a success, and there’s no doubting the potential.
“People love fried chicken but there’s nowhere you can take your family because of the quality and the ethics.
“If we get it right we would love to be the fried chicken shop in everyone’s community.
“There are over 300 Nando’s stores and c900 KFC stores. There’s no doubt that we should be getting into three figures if we do it right.”
Clarke added: “There is a huge gap in the market for people looking for fast casual fried chicken which is fresher, healthier, tastier and served up by happier people, in a welcoming, efficient and clean environment.
“There’s nothing like it on the high street right now, we want to give people the choice of quality and value. We are changing fried chicken for the good and we are going to be the best restaurant we can possibly be.”
The pair currently operates two Chick ’n’ Sours sites in Haggerston and Covent Garden, and hope to open a third in London this year.
CHIK’N will operate as a fast-casual restaurant, open daily from early till late serving up breakfasts and an all-day menu.
Prices will range from £3.95 for breakfast muffins and £4.95 for the concept’s signature chicken sandwich, with house-made dips free.
A sandwich, chips and drink will be less than £10 and kids meal is £4.95.
The concept will use farm to table corn and barley-fed free range chickens from Castlemead in Somerset and as CHIK’N grows they will invest in the farm to maintain welfare and sustainable supply.
The pair said that the new concept would also use fryers which consume 40% less oil than traditional fryers, and would convert a proportion of waste to bio-gas by using an in-store converter, then the rest of the waste would go to a local biogas farm rather than landfill.
The old oil will be taken and converted into bio diesel and that will go back to the farms to help power some of their equipment.
Clarke has been working with long-time collaborator and Masterchef Professional winner Ash Mair on the menu.
Breakfast includes grilled sausage, free range egg and cheese muffin, as well as Hot Cakes with either blueberries and yoghurt or chicken tenders, bacon and maple syrup.
The sandwiches will be made of crispy, buttermilk-brined chicken breast in potato roll, with fillings such as sriracha sour cream and kimchi slaw.
To drink there will be local craft beer on tap freshly churned ice-cream from Ice Cream Union.
Sammy Weinbaum at CDG Leisure acted on the Baker Street deal.