Chick'n to open second site in Soho after ‘nearly failing'

25 March 2019 by
Chick'n to open second site in Soho after ‘nearly failing'

A second Chick'n restaurant is set to open in London's Soho in May, two years since the launch of the brand's first site on Baker Street.

The Wardour Street restaurant will serve fried chicken sandwiches and craft beer like the original site, with new menu items, including the ‘chick'n chop'.

Founders Carl Clarke and David Wolanski, who also jointly own three Chick ‘n' Sours restaurants, said that the brand "nearly failed to begin with", as it was located in a site surrounded by major competitors such as McDonald's, KFC and Chipotle, as well as struggling with a young workforce new to hospitality.

The pair employed and trained 60 people who had never worked in a kitchen before. However, by focusing on inspiring their workforce to care about the food they were making, 70% of the original cohort are still with the business today, and many have progressed to more senior roles.

Clarke said: "Let's be honest, in the beginning, we were pretty rubbish, we got a fair bit of it wrong… We didn't know what we were doing, as Chick'n is totally different to a traditional restaurant model we knew. It's been an emotional journey, but now we know better."

Wolanski added: "I cut my teeth working at L'Escargot on Greek Street [as a chef de rang] and my first business was Café Soho off Broadwick Street. Back then we made award-winning sandwiches and now we're back making sandwiches of a different style that hopefully will be as well received… It's going to be fantastic to be so central and in a place that teems with life."

Clarke and Wolanski have intended to expand the brand for a while, and announced the opening of a second Chick'n restaurant in Islington in September 2018 as part of plans to expand across London and then the UK. It was due to open in February 2018, but ahead of the opening the team decided the site was better suited to the Chick'n'Sours brand.

Original Chick ‘n' Sours closes temporarily for refurb >>

Chik'n begins expanding across London >>

"Guilt free" fried chicken headed to Baker Street >>

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