Speed Fried Chicken
- small budget
- fast food / sandwich shop
- deliver / take away
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When you want to go into the catering business on a limited budget, a concept based on delivering food is one of the most lucrative. Firstly, because this is a rapidly growing sector and secondly because there is lots of room to improve on the choice of food available for delivery.
To be honest, apart from some Chinese Indian and couscous restaurants who deliver in large towns, most of us have to make do with the old faithful pizza. It’s true that some pizzerias offer to deliver kebabs, burgers, Paninis, sandwiches or chicken wings but that’s not always the case. We often order pizza because there is no alternative.
It’s interesting to note how the market for delivered sushi has taken of over the past few years in large towns and cities. Quite often, the sushi are made elsewhere, the deliverer buys them in bulk and all he has to do is package and deliver –easy work! In fact, what the sushi success story teaches us is that we all need new sorts of food delivered to our homes and workplaces. The lack of time and desire to cook is on the rise. When you consider the video games, internet, DVD, dozens of TV channels and videos on demand that we can avail of, an evening spent at home is often more enticing (and cheaper) than dining out.
With this in mind, I have already created two concepts for home delivered food which I like a lot and now I’m presenting a third concept to you, a concept where I combine delivery with fast-food.
While conducting my research I came across a few concepts which try to target a very broad clientele –too broad I would say. I was amazed to learn that the same restaurant can offer to deliver pizza, hamburgers, paninis, sandwiches, kebabs, chicken and even crepes, hot-dogs, couscous and paella !! It’s ridiculous. Either they have ten employees in the kitchen or the quality of what they deliver is poor. It’s simply unmanageable and I’ll bet that the food is delivered cold after a very long wait. Furthermore, the success of a delivery concept hinges on the customer identifying one product with one business. As far as I know, Domino’s pizza or Telepizza (both highly successful) have never added sauerkraut or bouillabaisse to their menus! When we order from them we know we want to eat pizza, perhaps a sandwich, but never a lamb curry!
Let’s take a look at the fast-food sector for a moment. There chains have expanded all over the world: McDonald’s, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken. The one I’d like to focus on here is KFC. They sell almost exclusively products made from chicken (usually fried) and that is precisely why they have an advantage over their competitors.
First of all, chicken is of global appeal, it’s eaten everywhere and that’s why KFC is the preferred fast-food amongst black, Asian and Hispanic people. It’s in their culture to prefer chicken to a beef burger. A KFC restaurant is opened every 22 hours in China! It’s very likely that KFC will dominate the global fast-food sector in a few years.
I often go to Spain and have witnessed the competition between the three fast-food chains there. KFC has conquered the population whereas the other two are struggling to increase their turnover. KFC has another advantage: it’s more family orientated.
I have never believed that the hamburger is suitable for delivery. It’s not profitable unless you deliver several at a time and it doesn’t stay warm for very long. While conducting this research I found out that KFC run a delivery service in certain countries. Their competitors don’t.
By now you’ll have understood that this concept is all about delivering chicken (fried or not) and you’ll soon see it has everything to convince me it will make a success of your business venture.
Your business will be easy to set up; pizza deliverers have already thought of everything:
-Advertising flyers with details of your menu delivered to all letter-boxes in your area.
-Delivery by car or by scooter.
-Ideas for a dessert/drinks menu.
-Perhaps a complementary bottle of wine when the order reaches a certain amount.
-Thanks to our pizzeria friends you’ll even know where to locate your business.
Basically, your clientele is the same, and you both rely on people’s laziness or lack of time to cook a meal. When choosing your location, make sure you have over 50,000 potential clients in the area and if you see 5 or 6 pizzas take-away, then you have found the right spot. You could observe how the pizza restaurants work, count how many cars or scooters they have on the road to have an idea of how much business there is in the area – now, that’s what I call marketing!
If possible, find a densely populated area so that delivery times are kept to a minimum. An area with both houses or apartments and offices will ensure a lunch-time and an evening trade. Another piece of advice: a mainly black and Asian clientele will undoubtedly prefer to order your chicken than a pizza.
A real advantage would be to have a premises where you sell take-away particularly at lunch-time. So I would advise finding a location close to your potential lunch-time clientele.
You probably won’t be able to afford to set up your business in a busy town centre but you could look for a premises close to a business park, a school, a university or even a hospital or a station. Your premises doesn’t have to be very big. Remember to provide safe parking for your scooter fleet if that’s what you intend using.
You’ll need a large rotisserie (a rotating spit), professional deep fat fryers and spacious deep freezes. All of these can be bought second-hand. Distribute your advertisement flyers 3 times over a 2 month period to all letterboxes is your area, not forgetting offices and shops. Now for your menu. First of all let’s talk about fried chicken. Specialized suppliers can supply all the chicken pieces you need frozen. Don’t bother preparing everything yourself! But choose your supplier carefully. Look for quality too when choosing your packaging so there is minimal heat loss during delivery.
You’ll need chicken wings, pieces of fillet, drumsticks, pre-fried breaded nuggets (plain and spicy). You can sell them in various quantities, as part of a menu with drinks and fries or in a large family-sized box to share. You’ll provide sachets of the usual sauces.
There’s a lot to be said in favor of those large family boxes which usually include sweet corn, fries and big bottles of soda. The contain enough to feed a family, children are crazy about them and as every American family knows, fried chicken can easily be reheated in a microwave oven so there’s no waste! From a European perspective large boxes of nuggets and chicken wings are great at aperitif time. They’re always a success when watching a football match on TV among friends.
What else will be on your menu? I already told you that hamburgers are out but you’ll need to have an alternative on your menu all the same. I would advise you to consider making wraps with the usual filling of salad, tomato, chicken and whatever sauce. Wraps are not only more modern than the hamburger but they have the advantage of standing up to delivery time better (unlike a soggy hamburger). Provide plenty of spicy condiments and sauces, they go very well with fried chicken. 3 or 4 sorts of wraps will be enough, you can sell them individually or as part of a menu.
Take time to study carefully the various menus available in all existing fast-food chains that sell fried chicken.
Take note of their prices, how many pieces of fried chicken are included, what exactly is included in a menu or in a large family box, what combinations are possible etc… Take a look at their drinks and dessert menu.
There’s one last aspect of your business and that’s the rotisserie. You will sell and deliver whole or half roast chickens. This will help to boost your turnover, especially when you’re just starting up and later may prove to be a lucrative market in itself. I’m sure people would much rather order a chicken from you, the chicken “specialist”, than from the local pizzeria. However, it’s entirely up to you whether or not you want to develop the rotisserie end of the business. You might, for example, be lucky enough to find a strategic location where your take-away will provide a good turnover and in that case don’t bother investing in a rotisserie, perhaps you’ll want to invest later. I’m not a franchiser so I’m not imposing any rules and you’re free to make your own choices. But I have complete faith in the future of fried chicken!
Coincidentally, I’ve just heard that KFC has announced its intention to double the number of its restaurants here in France over the next 4 years.
If you do your best to adhere to this concept, if you sell good quality chicken, if you can deliver your food hot within your time limits… then I have no doubt you’ll be very successful and the pizza delivery guys had better watch out!