By using its custom oil drums to barbecue poultry, Chicken in a Barrel is capitalizing on an increasingly popular industry trend.
In the competitive restaurant franchising industry, innovation is key to standing out. That’s why many concepts have adopted new ways of serving up one of consumers’ favorite dishes: poultry. Chicken in a Barrel is one of those innovative concepts—the emerging franchise brand that’s based in Hawaii uses an oil drum to barbecue its meat with charcoal and wood. And it’s not just loyal customers who are taking note—leading industry publications, including QSR Magazine, are eager to learn more.
In a recent article titled, “Beyond the Fryer,” QSR Magazine notes that while deep-frying is still popular in restaurant chains across the country, there are other preparation methods—beyond grilling—that are taking the menu item to the next level. Chicken in a Barrel’s cooking method is especially unique—the brand cuts a door in its custom barrels to hold rods where chickens cook. Chicken in Barrel’s chefs then uses charcoal for heat and kiawe, a Hawaiian wood that adds a distinct smoky flavor. The brand’s poultry is also prepared with a family recipe dry rub before going on hooks and cooking two feet over coals.
"My father-in-law learned to cook that way when he was living in the central California Sierras," Brent Bierma, owner and manager of Chicken in a Barrel, told QSR Magazine.
By taking that unique approach to preparing poultry, Chicken in a Barrel is setting itself up for long-term success. Demand for alternative types of chicken is growing—according to Mintel, mentions of poultry at limited-service restaurants increased by four percent for chicken and three percent for turkey in the two years ending in March 2017.
To capitalize on that trend, Chicken in a Barrel includes a wide variety of chicken meal options on its menu. In addition to serving its chicken in quarter and half portions, the brand also shreds it for tacos, burritos and hoagies.
To read the full article, check out the August 2017 issue of QSR Magazine or click here.