28 East 1st Street between Extra Place and 2nd Street (East Village) • 212.228.0404


Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken

Their Success…For many, fried chicken is still associated with old-timey diners frequented by senior citizens in the boondocks of the Deep South. Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken is breaking this untrue stereotype. The immediate impression a customer gets upon entering is “modern” and “clean,” two unlikely culprits from a restaurant that is known for their fried chicken, an infamously greasy provision. From the sensor-based TOMRA waste bins, to the credit-card drink and ice cream ordering screen that conveniently permits customers who aren’t ordering chicken to skip the line and pay instantly, Blue Ribbon possesses all the qualities of a technologically superior enterprise. The high ceilings and bold, colorful fonts that don the printed menu display board reflect the restaurant’s avant-garde qualities.

Staff is always on the floor, constantly ensuring counters, floors and seats are immaculate, wiping down hot sauce bottles, and restocking the wet naps at the self-serve station. No section of Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken remains unkempt for longer than a couple of minutes before an attentive employee cleans it. The trash is taken out long before it overflows, and there’s a large self-serve station just a few feet away from the tables, ruling out the inconvenience of having to return to the cash wrap each time another wet nap is needed.

Now about the chicken. Blue Ribbon maintains the succulent meat and crispy skin exterior that Americans have grown so fond of, and with a few intuitive updates they have preserved the chicken’s dignity while augmenting its oomph factor. Off the bat, customers have the choice between white and dark meat. The menu’s flexibility accommodates just about any level of hunger; customers can order chicken parts a la carte (breast, thigh, wing, etc.) or meal combos/specials, party-size orders for larger groups, chicken sandwiches, burgers and salads. The only meal that doesn’t have some chicken component to it is dessert— but even if that were to change in the future, we’re confident Blue Ribbon would find a way to make it appetizing. At each table rests five hot sauces; from mild to hot they are: mustard honey, wildflower honey, chipotle honey, wasabi honey and habanero hot sauce. This accomodating table selection allows customers to skip the embarrassment of displaying their grease-covered fingers and the hassle of multiple trips to the self-serve station each time they’d like to dress their fried chicken meals with more hot sauce. The entire menu embodies “modernity,” so to speak, from the hybrid ice cream flavors like carrot & habanero to the chicken burger with caramelized pineapple.

Take Aways…Taking small steps to differentiate a mainstream food is what makes your enterprise stand out from the thousands of others that also focus on that food. Adding contemporary elements in both the menu and restaurant amenities is a recipe for segment-increasing success.

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