Dave's Hot Chicken is focused on its food and its customers

Dave's Hot Chicken is focused on its food and its customers

Dave's Hot Chicken Co-Founder Arman Oganesyan said his pop-up tent turned national food chain is focused entirely on its food and its customers, allowing it to stand out among its mega competitors.

You always have your big chicken competitors like the Chick-fil-A's and the Raising Cane's, but we like to focus on our food. He said that we like to focus on our customer.

Its menu includes 4 combo meals that include chicken tenders or chicken sandwiches, and include fries, pickles, and Dave's Sauce. Spice options range from no spice to its hottest option, the reaper. Other side offerings include Cheese Fries or Mac and Cheese, plus drinks like milkshakes, Oganesyan said its chicken-only menu allows the chain to maintain quality.

He said that we only do tenders so we can maintain a high quality food, while still having a high output level. That way, we can prep it and cook it as ordered. Everyone is getting a fresh order as they come in and that's why we have it under heat lamps and not have it be pre-made. He said that simple strategy is what keeps customers satisfied and craving more. Dave's Hot Chicken saw sales grow 155%, from $79.6 million to $203 million from 2021 to 2022, and grew from 40 to 102 locations.

Bill Phelps, CEO, said it plans to grow at a pace of 100 -- 120 stores in the next year or so. The goal is to have 700 locations in North America, in major cities such as San Diego, Chicago, Houston, Detroit, Portland, Milwaukee, and Toronto.

Phelps said he took this mega growth strategy from his previous tenure as CEO of Wetzel's Pretzels and co-investor in Blaze Pizza.

Rick Wetzel and I knew nothing about franchising. We learned the business from the franchisees and then Rick and Elise Wetzel came up with Blaze Pizza. They brought in a great team and they were able to grow really fast. That was the fastest growing restaurant chain, and we took their playbook, and we did that here. Phelps said that social media is the most efficient marketing tool you've ever invented. The social media platforms of Instagram and TikTok give new brands the ability to reach very little cost. We have guests walking into restaurants and filming the restaurant and the product, and that's a primary marketing tool, so it's an incredibly efficient way to market for a young company. Follow her on Twitter at BrookeDiPalma or email her at bdipalma yahoofinance.com.