Keep Up with Chicken Demand

Even during a global pandemic, chicken restaurants have seen stable growth. Since the “chicken wars” of 2019, many chains have focused on bulking their chicken offerings. Multiple chains have plans to introduce additional chicken to their menus in the upcoming years. Mcdonalds, Wendy’s, and Church’s Chicken have all released plans for additional chicken sandwiches within the next year.

Providing an organized system to handle these extended offerings is very important for the efficiency of any organization that wants chicken added to its menu. Here is what you need to take advantage of the chicken trend like chains. Our chicken experts will tell you what the big chains use to create an efficient process in the back-of-house. 

Proper chicken processing includes

  • Storage
  • Tempering
  • Breading
  • Assembly

Each process requires specific items that can help make a fast and efficient chicken prep process.

Storage: When the chicken comes in, it generally is either frozen or refrigerated. When working in these areas, it is essential to create a storage system that is easy-to-clean and corrosion-proof. For this, our experts suggest a “library” storage system. The general idea behind this innovative cooler/freezer design is eliminating the posts in front of the shelves to create more overall usable space and easier access to supplies. We suggest the use of the Smartlever system for this type of cooler/ freezer storage.

Tempering: The tempering process centers around the use of the cooler. If the chicken is frozen, this would be the thawing process. If the chicken comes in refrigerated, this would be cooler storage. For this, we suggest easy-to-clean solutions. As chicken thaws, it is common to have shelving come into contact with a large amount of chicken juice and condensation that can be a pain to clean without the proper solutions.

Our choice for this application would be the SuperErecta Pro shelving. This solution offers easy-to-clean mats that can be placed directly into the dishwasher. Another great option is the MetroMax I shelving with the drip tray addition. The drip tray collects all liquids that fall to the bottom of the shelving unit, and the polymer construction makes the shelf extremely easy-to-clean and dishwasher safe.

If your institution works from an outside kitchen, consider the use of insulated cabinets to keep the chicken at a safe temperature. Our C5 4-series insulated transport cabinet offers temperature retention and easy movement.

Breading: One of the common denominators of a successful chicken entrée or sandwich is proper breading. For breading stations, invest in a proper workstation. If your operation focuses mostly on chicken, something like a SmartLever system would be a great fit. For an operation that just plans to add chicken to the menu and not necessarily focuses on it, a SuperErecta cart formatted for breading is an excellent solution. It can be moved out of the way from the other areas of the operation and taken out only when necessary. There must be a specific area for this process because the staff will be handling raw chicken in this area.

Other things that should remain in this area are coaters, sifting baskets, pans, and gloves.

Assembly: After the chicken is breaded and cooked, it is time to assemble the final product. This area should be a storage space and a workstation with everything the staff would need. Overhead storage should be used for items that don’t require refrigeration, like wraps and bread. Workstations should have a refrigerated area for additional toppings.

In this area, we suggest adding a heated shelf or the final product when it is completed.

For more tips and information, keep up with our webinars.