Carl Clarke and David Wolanski’s new fast food chicken shop on Baker Street has temporarily closed because of it was unable to maintain their standards and meet the overwhelming demand.
Speaking to Eater this lunchtime, Clarke said, “You can plan all you want but some things you just learn [once the business opens]. It’s been a tidal wave — a short, sharp shock — for many of the staff, a lot of whom aren’t chefs. You’ve got to make a call: whether you let the product suffer or you dust off and make changes.”
On Monday evening they opted for the latter. Tomorrow they plan to be back open to the public, “after two days of debriefing” with new systems in place to ensure the site can accommodate the queues of customers each day. “We’ll [re]start as we mean to go on and are looking forward to coming back faster and stronger than ever,” he said.
Since they opened on 6 July — and after a 50% off PR-drive for the first week — they’ve served over a tonne of chicken to around 10,000 customers, they said on their Instagram page.
When asked if they did too good a PR job, he laughed, colourfully avoiding the question: “We put our cock on the blocks — our neighbours are McDonald’s, Itsu and KFC. I think people really got behind our purpose and see that we’re trying to change things,” he said.
Clarke, who also runs Chick ‘n’ Sours, wants to “change fried chicken for the good.” CHIK’N aims to compete with fast food chicken retailers with fried chicken burgers — made only from free-range birds — for under £5. He is also committed to paying staff the London Living Wage.
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