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A Unique Spin on Barbecue Sets Chicken In A Barrel Apart from the Competition
What started as a family tradition is now fueling the expansion of an emerging franchise concept.

Two things have always brought Mike Pierce and his family together over the dinner table: a love of barbecue and the love of God. And it’s those same passions that are continuing to fuel the success of Pierce’s growing restaurant concept, Chicken In A Barrel.

Established in 2010, Chicken In A Barrel isn’t your average barbeque joint. The brand is built on Pierce’s unique style of cooking called “Smoked Barbecue” that’s been a family tradition for more than 35 years. Instead of relying on a traditional grill, Chicken In A Barrel uses a custom made Barrel to cook all of its featured meats that are then served off the hook. Not only is the method different—it also adds a level of flavor to its meats that can’t be found anywhere else.

“Our Barrel-made barbecue has always been a family favorite. That’s why we decided to create Chicken In A Barrel—we had the opportunity to bring that same culinary joy to other families in our community,” said Pierce. “Ever since we opened up our first restaurant on Kauai, we’ve had customers asking us to bring the concept to other parts of the U.S. And now that we’re franchising, we finally have the ability to make that happen.”

With two locations on the Garden Island of Kauai, Hawaii—in Hanalei and Kapaa—and its first franchise location expected to open its doors before the end of the year in Santa Barbara, California, Chicken In A Barrel’s emerging franchise concept is already experiencing rapid growth. And the brand expects that trend to continue throughout 2017. Backed by signature entrees like a Chicken In A Barrel Plate, which features one-fourth of a chicken and a side of brown rice and chili beans, and its authentic Mexi’que menu, there’s no doubt that consumers across the country will catch on to the brand’s one of a kind concept.

“We couldn’t be more excited to be the first franchisees bringing Chicken In A Barrel to the mainland. We’ve been fans of the restaurant for years, and there’s nothing else like it,” said Jennifer Vilera, Chicken In A Barrel’s franchisee in Santa Barbara. “There are so many different factors that come together to make Chicken In A Barrel stand out. While the food itself is fantastic, it also comes down to the brand’s positive atmosphere and overall purpose. We’re confident that our restaurant will take off as soon as we’re open for business.”

In addition to its regular menu, Chicken In A Barrel makes it proprietary spices and rubs available for purchase to its customers, allowing consumers to experience the brand’s bold flavors at home. Beyond providing its franchisees with another revenue stream, those products will also enable the brand to take its concept to the next level as it continues to expand outside of Hawaii.

Chicken In A Barrel’s franchise concept gives entrepreneurs a supportive and affordable environment to grow their business. Start-up costs for Roadside Express franchise locations range from $244,510 to $395,208, including a $35,000 franchise fee. That same franchise fee is also included in the estimated initial investment for a full-service Chicken In A Barrel restaurant, which falls between $497,100 and $687,500.

“At Chicken In A Barrel, we’re all about creating a strong family vibe. Our restaurants are all designed to serve delicious food in a laid-back environment that’s both family friendly and open,” said Brent Bierma, co-owner of Chicken In A Barrel. “We’re excited to continue expanding on the mainland, and we have no doubt that this year will be filled with positive growth.”

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