So you want to run a fried chicken joint, but you don’t want to have to go through all the hassle and expense of operating a fully fledged KFC franchise? No problem. In London, an entire subgenre of Southern-style chicken fast-food joints has slipped out from under the shadow of Colonel Sanders’s wing. Just follow a few simple rules when it comes to choosing your restaurant’s name (to avoid any retribution from clucking lawyers), and then watch low-cost, greasy, breaded bird parts fly out the door.
Restaurants across the British capital claim to have culinary roots in Southern states such as Tennessee, Mississippi, Texas, and Carolina, as well as not-so-Southern places including Chicago, New York, and even California. Pretty much anywhere American, in fact, except Kentucky.
Now this curious phenomenon has given rise to a book, Chicken: Low Art, High Calorie by Siâron Hughes, which celebrates the chicken-inspired designs and branding of these cheeky restaurants. It also reveals a startling truth: Nearly all of their brightly lit plastic signs and logos are the work of just one sign-maker, naturally known as “Mr Chicken.”
We just hope he wasn’t responsible for creating the slightly painful pun that graces the front of Kent’s Tuck Inn Fried Chicken. Ouch.