What’s Special About Our Menu?

The nation’s first hot chicken licensing opportunity is bringing the authentic Music City dish to the mainstream

There’s a reason why Nashville hot chicken has caught the public imagination so significantly in recent years: it’s a destination food that people travel from all over the country to get. When celebrities visit Music City, they inevitably find themselves taking selfies with their sleeves rolled up, eating hot chicken. When magazines, newspapers, documentary films and trendsetting blogs publish a feature on Nashville, of which countless have appeared in recent years, hot chicken gets the star treatment. It is no wonder that Time magazine called hot chicken “Nashville’s signature dish.”

Hot Chicken with pickles, turnip greens, and broccoli casserole on a wooden table

In this way, the phenomenon of hot chicken in 2017 is similar to what the Philly cheesesteak or buffalo wings represented just before they exploded as cultural mainstays far beyond their regional origins — but the potential for hot chicken is perhaps even greater. The mainstream is already catching on: fast food brands such as Chick-fil-A, KFC and Popeyes now offer approximations of hot chicken on their menus, and swanky restaurants in Los Angeles and New York City have begun serving up expensive takes on hot chicken to their customers.

“We’re celebrating the fact that other brands are bringing hot chicken to a wider audience, but there’s no substitution for the real thing,” says Martin Tunnell, Vice President of Development and co-founder of Hot Chicken Kitchen. “We’re from Nashville and keeping the authenticity of hot chicken was of paramount importance to us. We visited every hot chicken place and tried every example of hot chicken we could find across the country before we embarked on the journey to create this business. We discovered that the country was ready for the real thing, and that the real thing could only come from the place where hot chicken was created — Nashville.”

What makes the Hot Chicken Kitchen menu authentic?

For starters, Hot Chicken Kitchen is bringing hot chicken directly from Nashville. This is a brand founded by an experienced franchising team who have grown up with hot chicken as a part of their daily lives, and are sensitive to the fact that hot chicken has a tradition that needs to be respected. Their franchising experience provided the opportunity to launch a business that would ensure that the authentic hot chicken experience could enter the mainstream the right way.

Hot Chicken Menu with wood paneled sidings

Hot Chicken Kitchen is the first brand to offer traditional hot chicken with the assurance of consistency that consumers expect in every other fast-casual segment from Mexican food to burgers. The creators spent two years in test kitchens developing the secret recipe and four ranges of heat, from none to traditionally hot, as well as the the proprietary seasoning and rubs used to transform fried chicken to hot chicken.

The hot chicken is served in a wide variety of ways, from platters of wings, tenders and legs, to sandwiches, wraps and salads. Hot Chicken Kitchen also serves a wide variety of Southern comfort sides, served a la carte or as part of combination platters, that range from collard greens, coleslaw, cornbread stuffing, sweet potato casserole and much more. In addition, Hot Chicken Kitchen also features desserts, such as our deliciously decadent deep fried cheesecake.

Hot Chicken Kitchen Merchandise against a red background“Consistency is really what sets us apart from other hot chicken brands, even those in Nashville,” says Ed Thompson, Vice President of Operations with Hot Chicken Kitchen. “We designed our kitchen, our recipes, the preparation, cooking and serving of our food to be simple, so that the customers can expect the same level of quality, taste and service at all of our locations. The simplicity of our model is the result of years of experience, but also the desire to standardize what our customers can expect from us. At hot chicken restaurants in Nashville, it is all too common to have different experiences in quality every time you visit. We wanted to reverse this trend, and we have done exactly that.”

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