What Is Hot Chicken Kitchen, Nashville Style?

Hot Chicken Kitchen is a first-to-market hot chicken restaurant that is ramping up for rapid nationwide expansion

Hot Chicken Kitchen is one of the most exciting business opportunities to emerge in the $90 billion annual U.S. chicken industry. Not since buffalo wings were introduced to the nation in the 1970s has a regional food item captured the public’s attention so thoroughly as hot chicken. Plain and simple — Americans love chicken and now we want our chicken hot.

Americans Spend 90$ Billion on Chicken Every Year

The National Chicken Council reports that chicken is not only our favorite source of protein, but the amount of chicken we consume every year is also expected to rise over the next several years. Hot Chicken Kitchen is taking the once best kept secret in Nashville to the mainstream for the first time, and our simplified business model is a chance for first-time and experienced entrepreneurs, as well as savvy investors, to get in on the ground floor of the most exciting investment opportunity to come to the $40 billion annual Fast Casual segment in a long time.

Founded in 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee, Hot Chicken Kitchen is the first license system to take the hot chicken dining experience to the rest of the nation. With multiple locations open and in development across America, our visionary leadership team has created a business model that is easy to own and easy to scale and has worked to establish Hot Chicken Kitchen as a viable, sustainable business that can thrive in any community near and far from Music City.

“We spent several years perfecting our business model before we opened our doors to licensees,” says Martin Tunnell, Vice President of License Development and co-founder of Hot Chicken Kitchen. “We spent two years in the kitchen creating our menu, perfecting our systems and processes. When we opened our first two locations in Alabama and Michigan, we proved that there is so much enthusiasm for hot chicken, and we’re so excited that we’re not only the first brand to take this experience to a wider public, but that we’re also getting it right. As a franchisor, we understood immediately that Hot Chicken Kitchen had to be a simple business to operate and easy to scale, and the amount of interest our brand is generating from investors is proof that we’re doing it right. As locals of Nashville, we couldn’t be more proud that the food we’ve enjoyed for decades is getting the wider audience it deserves. The market has been waiting for it.”

Chicken and Two SidesHot chicken is hot! So hot in fact, that in recent years, you’d be hard pressed to find a publication that hasn’t written about the beloved Nashville dish: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, NPR, and so many others have featured hot chicken that the list is seemingly endless. Perhaps it’s the unique simplicity of the dish that has captured the chicken-loving American public. What all authentic hot chicken has in common is three simple ingredients: 1) bread, 2) fried chicken made hot with cayenne pepper and 3) a pickle. The chicken is placed on the bread for absorption and the pickle is placed on top of the chicken. It’s so simple that it’s a small wonder it took the nation this long to pick up on the Music City specialty.

Time magazine writes in an article titled, “How Hot Chicken Became Nashville’s Signature Dish,” that “eating hot chicken in Nashville isn’t just food to fill the belly. It’s entertainment. An event. An ordeal. It overtakes the senses like a Hank song — all tears, fire and passion. And that might be part of why it has a home in Music City — and until recently, almost no place else.”

Hot Chicken is "Indisputably Nashville's Most Iconic Food"

The “almost no place else” is exactly where Hot Chicken Kitchen comes in. After watching fast-food chains such as Chick-fil-A, KFC and others add approximations of hot chicken to their menus, Hot Chicken Kitchen is determined to deliver the authentic Nashville experience that consumers across the country are traveling to Music City to get — only this time, we’re bringing it to them.

“We’re excited to be entering this market after the word has spread far and wide that Nashville-style hot chicken is something truly special,” says Alan Thompson, CEO and Founder. “The fast food chains have done a tremendous job in establishing the fact that there’s an audience for this out there, but after opening two locations, we’ve established that audiences far away from Nashville crave the real sit-down experience. I see us becoming a staple in the next few years, with hundreds of locations open across the country.”

Ready to bring Hot Chicken Kitchen to your community? The time is now!

Hot Chicken Kitchen is a low-cost investment opportunity with potential for high returns, with the total investment estimate to begin operations on a new Hot Chicken Kitchen ranging from $230,000 and $355,000. Because our build-out costs and ongoing overhead are substantially lower than other brands in the fast-casual, QSR and fast food segments, Hot Chicken Kitchen offers a quicker ramp-up time, which allows for a potentially faster return on investment. The license fee for your Hot Chicken Kitchen is $25,000.

Request Business Overview

Want to learn more about opening your own Hot Chicken Kitchen? Fill out this form to get started:
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.