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Standing out in a competitive food segment

Photograph: BonChon

It’s no secret that the chicken segment is hot right now and has been for the past two years. Based on Technomic’s 2022 Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report, chicken chains have increased sales by an average of almost 25% since 2019.

The question looming right now is: Is chicken always going to be this in demand? As a restaurant operator, this is the time to think about whether what is being offered on the menu is unique enough to stand out amongst the competition, as well as if there is enough variety for when chicken isn’t the latest craze.

Refine recipes to maintain efficiency and quality

Today, the entire restaurant industry is battling the issues that come with rising costs around labor and food. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, food costs are up 17% from a year ago. Bonchon, a Korean fried chicken restaurant concept, has spent the past 12 months trimming costs where possible while focusing on maintaining authenticity and quality of its food.

Although now is a time where it is necessary to cut costs on various elements of operations to combat inflation, maintaining the quality of the food during this time is integral. For example, Bonchon double fries and brushes its signature Soy Garlic and Spicy sauce onto its chicken; both of these elements help to lock in the moisture of the chicken, make it extra crispy and accentuate the flavor. It is a process that is unique and one the brand will not be forgoing. However, there are still strategies restaurants can explore, even if they have a special method for how the food is cooked, to make processes in the kitchen more efficient and less labor intensive.

Have variety on the menu

While it is good to have a specialty item on the menu, the more variety that is provided to consumers, the better. Even though Bonchon is known for its Korean fried chicken, it also features many other Pan Asian favorites on the menu such as japchae, potstickers and fried rice.  Again, what is most important to remember is to stay true to the brand. Whether there is a special way the chicken is fried, seasoned, etc., if the preparation method is unique to the brand, it should be preserved. Consumers value integrity and it will keep them coming back to a business, especially if the food being offered is high quality.

Becoming a franchise owner of an established brand that is dedicated to being innovative and efficient with its resources as well as ensuring the menu is always staying fresh takes the stress off the operator. It gives them the opportunity to focus on what is most important—strong customer service to help continue building a fanbase. This philosophy is what has led Bonchon to experience a 24.7% increase in its AUV since 2018 and a growing following throughout the United States and internationally with more than 390 locations. To learn more about becoming a Bonchon franchise partner, click here.

This post is sponsored by BonChon


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