CHICKEN KITCHEN: Why Has the Chicken Kitchen Franchise Failed to Soar?

Chicken Kitchen, ten years ago, was a healthy chicken concept with a cult following, 24 locations, gross sales reportedly exceeding $1M per unit and ambitious franchise plans.

In a South Florida Business Journal article dated April 7, 2003, company founder and president Christian de Berdouare was quoted as saying “I believe that our concept will eventually have 1,000 locations across the U.S. All the fundamentals are here and I think America is ready for Chicken Kitchen.”

Christian de Berdouare told the publication that “Chicken Kitchen has grown from one location in 1988 to 24 now, with average revenue per established unit hitting $1.1 million.”

Ten years later, the Chicken Kitchen  chain has increased in size by only 4 locations.

It’s website lists 25 locations in Florida and 3 locations in Texas (See location list below).

Chicken Kitchen was listed in the 2013 Coleman Report as having a 66% default rate for franchise loans guaranteed by the SBA.

(To be fair, there were only three SBA loans granted.  Two of the three franchise locations evidently ended in failure.)

A Google search of the term “Chicken Kitchen Closed” reveals that a number of Chicken Kitchen locations have opened and since closed, including the original location in New York:

Florida Chicken Kitchen restaurants reported closed:

Coral Springs, FL – 1309 N University Dr Coral Springs, FL 33071 (954) 757-6123

Davie, FL – 3325 S University Dr Ste 121 Davie, FL 33328 (954) 382-9777

Fort Lauderdale, FL – 35 N Federal Hwy Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 (954) 832-9393

Miami Beach, FL – 474 W 41st St  Miami Beach, FL 33140

Miami Beach, FL – 1429 Washington Ave Miami Beach, FL 33139 (305) 673-0867

Pembroke Pines, FL – 15931 Pines Blvd Pembroke Pines, FL 33027 (954) 392-0808

Weston, FL – 1162 Weston Rd, Weston, FL 33326  (954) 384-7272

Texas Chicken Kitchens restaurants reported closed:

Houston TX – 10001 Westheimer Rd, Houston TX 77042 (713) 952-5300

New York Chicken Kitchen restaurant reported closed:

New York, NY 1177 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10065 (212) 826-6167

“This place is mainly known for its cult popularity status in South Florida, but this location on E 62nd is the original and first Chicken Kitchen!”

A Justia Dockets & Filings search reveals several franchise-related lawsuits:

Chicken Kitchen USA, LLC v. Khan et al

Filed: September 26, 2011 as 1:2011cv23493

Plaintiff: Chicken Kitchen USA, LLC

Defendants: Arshad Khan, Franchise Friends, LLC , Ghazi Hajj  and Healthy & Tasty Ventures, LLC

Cause Of Action: Fed. Question: Breach of Contract

Court: Eleventh Circuit > Florida > Southern District Court

Type: Contract > Franchise

Chicken Kitchen USA, LLC et al v. Chicken Chicken Food, Inc. et al

Filed: July 31, 2008 as 1:2008cv22163

Plaintiffs: Chicken Kitchen USA, LLC and CK Systems, Inc.

Defendants: Chicken Chicken Food, Inc., Chicken Chicken Express, Inc., Luis Iragori, Beatrice Restrepo and Juan Estrada

Cause Of Action: Federal Question

Court: Eleventh Circuit > Florida > Southern District Court

Type: Contract > Franchise

Chicken Kitchen USA, LLC v. The McDonnough Investment Group, Inc. et al

Filed: February 6, 2007 as 1:2007cv20315

Plaintiff: Chicken Kitchen USA, LLC

Defendants: The McDonnough Investment Group, Inc., Rudyard A. McDonnough, Rudyard McDonnough and Richard McDonnough

Counter Claimant: The McDonnough Investment Group, Inc.

Counter Defendant: Chicken Kitchen USA, LLC

Cause Of Action: Trademark Infringement (Lanham Act)

Court: Eleventh Circuit > Florida > Southern District Court

Type: Contract > Franchise

Despite its apparent struggles to grow in the past decade, Chicken Kitchen is still promoting its franchise opportunity.  The Chicken Kitchen website states:

Since its inception, Chicken Kitchen has experienced significant growth. We have refined, updated and re-positioned our concept to keep pace with ever-changing times and to take advantage of consumers shifting taste. Chicken Kitchen franchisees own and operate more than 75% of restaurants presently open…

Why chose [sic] Chicken Kitchen rather than another business opportunity? These are some of the facts that you need to consider prior to making your final choice:

  • Low initial investment
  • Low break-even point
  • Very strong return on investment (ROI)

Also read: CHICKEN KITCHEN Locations (Updates Invited)



tags: Chicken Kitchen, Chicken Kitchen franchise, Chicken Kitchen restaurant. Chicken Kitchen Florida, Christian de Berdouare, Chicken Kitchen closed, Coleman Report, SBA franchise loan default rates, SBA franchise loans, chicken franchises, fast-casual chicken

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