Chicken and Pizza

I realize there are other places out there already selling chicken, and I’d like to hear from them. My partner will kill me for even thinking about it. But I’m curious what kind of sales people are experiencing with this combination, and what the sales split is. What type of equipment did you have to purchase and what is the foodcost on fried chicken? How long does it last? Is it cheap enough to add to my AYCE pizza and salad buffet in the day? Any regrets from adding it?

A couple of issues to consider first off:
You will obviously need multiple high output fryers, a large freezer, and the required fire suppression system with a hood…that could cost you as much as $10,000.
Second, be prepared to have a very specific procedure for handling a high volume of raw poultry…especially anywhere near your other fully cooked foods like pizzas, pastas and especially salads.
That means you will have to seriously consider adding labor just to handle chicken, and they cannot help in the other stations, without a very thorough hand washing. I would assume your health inspector will be reviewing your system for handling poultry very carefully… so don’t take it lightly.
there is a good reason most of us don’t handle fried chicken, and why fried chicken places don’t handle much else. The risk of cross contamination may not be worth it.

I started doing chicken about 2 years ago. I bought into a concept called Fritou Chicken. Google it and you can see some examples. It now accounts for 10% of my business. I bought a special fryer (round with electric coil around the basket) Yes you have to be carefull with cross contamination when you have raw chicken but for us it is worth it. Our fryer can do 40pcs at a time and we can fit 120 into our warmer when we need to. I will have to figure out my cost per piece as we just had a small increase but I will let you know

Once you cross that line into the chicken business side by side with your pizza business, your pizza is now considered average…mark my words - you pizza sales/quality will decrease.

wow alot of you guys are stright up pizza guys huh?? Pizzerias on LI have full kitchens and a full menu right down to chicken marsala etc… I could not imagine a pizzeria without chicken. It broadens your capability of really being sucessful… oppurtunites are endless chicken is so versatile. Yes you need so handle procedures in place and you have to be strict. But the positives totally out weigh the negatives… you can now serve many entrees, chicken salads, chciken pizza, chciken heros… CHA CHING!!! $$$$$$$$$$$$

I have been selling pizza and chicken for 5 years now. We average about 25K per week in sales of which chicken makes up about 25%. Food cost for our chicken dinners averages around 36%. When you can offer chicken and jo-jo’s at your store this takes you into the catering business if you want it. Graduation parties are the way to go.Every saturday all summer long we sold 3k-4k pieces! We run a coupon for what we call “The Party Pack” - it is a 48 pc. chicken, 75 jo-jo potatoes, a 1-topping sheet pizza, a full pan of rigatoni, and a full pan of salad- we sell it for $135.95 I also run other coupons for big packs of chicken.

I remember a saturday this past summer starting the day with 21 party packs sold.

We have 2 lines in our kitchen, a pizza line and a cook’s line. We have no issues with cross cont. We have a seperate “raw meat” shelf in our walkin that is away from everything else. Selling fresh chicken is the way to go so you don’t need more freezer room but more walk in room.

As for our pizza being cheap because we offer chicken too - we make our dough fresh everyday, we use stanislaus tomatoes, and we grate our own grande cheese. Everyone in town knows we have the best pizza.

The newest coupon I am running is what I call “The Awesome Coupon”
it contains- a medium 12" 1-topping pizza, 8 pc. chicken, 1/2 slab of ribs, 12 wings, 12 jo-jo fries, 12 oz. slaw, rolls and butter.

I started it out at $24.99 with plans to get people hooked on it and within 8 months get it to $29.99.
Right now it is at $26.99
We are selling tons of them!

I am switching over to 0 trans fat oil and am marketing the heck out of it.

During the summer and around christmas we go though 60-80 cases per week. The rest of the year we go through 25-30 per week.

Chicken also opens doors for more corporate catering.

Are you going on the pizza cruise? If so we can talk more about it then.

Good luck.


I have to disagree. Our Pizza sales have shown a steady growth since adding chicken. Aso there is no reason why quality would go down as long as you dont change what you are doing with your pizzas. I found that it helped sales because now we had another option for people we have a lot of people order pizza AND chicken together.

Hey Rick,
Just one question, what are “Jo Jo” fries?

I have to agree with Rick, the more you can offer your customers the better, within reason of course. I am also curious to find out what Rick’s Jo Jo Fries are?

We take a #1 90 ct. Idaho potato and cut it into 6 wedges with a “jo-jo cutter”. We fill up 5 gallon buckets with them and then add water to keep them wet. When we cook them they are breaded with the same breading we use on our chicken. They are pressure fried golden brown just like the chicken. Dipped in ranch dressing - o baby- they are awesome.
We go through 750 pounds per week.

I do ribs, chicken, pasta and pizza.

Pizza is only about 25% of my business, and it doesn’t change much. My ribs and chicken are my biggest sellers.

I disagree with you need 10K for fryer etc…I cook my chicken in my convection ovens and it comes out mighty tasty if I do say so. New double convection oven goes for about 4K, reconditioned a lot less.


I forgot to mention my fryers.

I have 6 henney penney 4-head pressure fryers that can cook 32 pcs. of chicken every 15 minutes. They were $4500 each re-furbished. New ones go for $6500.

This past summer I had to buy a henney penney 8-head which will cook a 64 pc. in 13 minutes. It was refurbished for $9K. New ones go for $16K.

The fryers take up 12 feet of my 24 foot cook’s line hood.

Hope this helps.

sorry to mislead you. We absolutely use chicken breasts for entrees, pizzas, sandwiches and salads. And I go through 100 pounds of raw wings a week, that I cook in my deck oven. But we prep all the raw chicken in the am, to reduce our risks of cross contamination. We have a full line kitchen, its just way too small to fry chicken in quantity.

Congrats to Rick T on that business. Wish I was at 25K per week. So do my partners.

I have to disagree with pizzatime’s post also…if done correctly chicken can be a very useful addition to your bottom-line to supplement your pizza sales. We went from a small mom & pop shop with a limited menu to a full service restaurant with a full grill menu (we do not do chicken by the pc though). The addition of fresh chicken (both wings and breast) has probably been the single most dramatic increase in our sales. Believe it or not some people do not eat pizza and by giving them a choice of a grilled chicken caesar salad or wrap gives you the sale instead of your competitor. I think it is even more important if you do not have the best pizza in that case, but if you do then your competition is really screwed :wink:

Sorry guys, to stick my nose in here. I too, am desperate for help. I plan to start with one fryer. My gas station across from pizzaria to be doesn’t do much on chicken. But I see people here talking about four,six fryrs! I can tell you this, If I can keep my one fryer busy, I will be rich. And when you guys talk about 6pcs. 8pcs. 24pcs. what kind of pieces are they?wings,legs, thighs or breasts? I am going for Broaster concept with jo jo’s. Would that work for a pizzaria. I need to put the menu together. Please send (PM) me a sample menu.
Thank You.

A lot of insight on this subject here. I might have to rethink this.

There is a pizzeria that offers the complete chicken package and has gone down hill ever since in the pizza department.

Well not to be rude or anything, but come on, who the hell would buy chicken from a gas station. I personally would never go into a gas station and buy anything. Except for Chips, condoms, gas, soda, milk, candy or lotto… Atmosphere makes a huge deal when buying food and a gas station just doesnt have that no matter how nice it is. You will do good in our pizza shop with chicken, buy one nice 40lb gas fryer and make sure you leave room for another one i needed… dont base chcicken sales for the area on what you sell in your gas station, you will be selling yourself short majorly.

“Well not to be rude or anything, but come on, who the hell would buy chicken from a gas station.”

Thanks Mike, You are not being rude in anyway. Infact you are doing me a big favor by giving “out of the box” prospect here.

“buy one nice 40lb gas fryer and make sure you leave room for another one”

Another very good idea. its doable now but I couldn’t make room for another fryer later. Now, my dear friend, Since you gave me the idea just before we started hanging the hoods. I will change the schemes. have room for two fryers in the corner and push the oven/hood further to the left. Something that would be very hard to move after you done it. Thanks for the Idea.
BTW; I got 40lb fryer and another one by mistake from ebay. I am pretty set if things go well. just needed to keep the space for the second one. “GREAT IDEA, JUST IN TIME”

im very glad i can help… you mentioned the hood… but i must also remind you that the fryers need a suppression system as well… i hope you have that also… if not you wont be to code and wont be allowed to open

One pizza place does not a trend or absolute prediction make. My pizzeria has a spectacular pie that has not fallen when wing sales increase. We do about 25% gross sales in wings, and we would be burned to the ground if we stopped :smiley:

Baked is a good product, but our clientelle prefer the fried. Since we already have to have a cook line/grease hood for other items in the store, and we prepare a wide menu of tiems, the hood is not an added expense for us. The strength of our menu is the variety we offer. Wings is part of that variety, and builds our per order income a good bit with upsells.

blaming pizza quality on existance of another menu item is a complete cop out. the pizza quality fell because either 1) The owner decided to change the price point and food costs of his pizza, or 2) the processes got lax or porrly planned to accomodate added volume and food product in the kitchen. (either intentional change, or not prepared handle the new item)