Bird Shack franchise to open 20 stores in Jamaica
With the aim of taking ‘quick serve’ to the next level, America’s Bird Shack Jamaican franchisers will open a total of 20 stores on the island during their five-year contract.
Last Friday night, tourism consultants and restaurant operators Wayne Cummings, Omar Robinson and Robert Headley changed the landscape at the Barnett Tech Park in Montego Bay, opening the second Bird Shack in the Second City.
And by December another store will open its doors on Barnett Street, downtown Montego Bay, across from the bus park, Cummings announced during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Some 100 Jamaicans are being employed by the entrepreneurs, who shared that they have invested $150 million already to get the stores up and running.
The first Bird Shack was opened a year ago at Whitter Village in Ironshore, St James, to the tune of $45 million, while $80 million was pumped into the new Barnett Tech Park store.
Much has been spent on industrial appliances. They use special fryers as well as special ovens, and boast a lot of refrigeration capacity.
“We now have walk-in fridges, freezers and coolers, not only to build the reserve capacity [but] for stock [holding],” explained Cummings.
He admitted that it was when COVID-19 hit and the tourism industry collapsed that they realised they had to diversify their business.
He refers to Bird Shack as an exciting brand, and notes that between debt and equity, they are going to make it a success. Cummings also said there’s a possibility that within another 18 months they may actually take the company public as well. That is the kind of the investment strategy they are embarking on.
Currently, their licence requires them to be the operators of the store. However, should they take the brand outside of Jamaica, there may be opportunities for sub-franchisees.
The three men and their partners, Cook Smart Equipment and Supplies, have ‘Jamaicanised’ the American franchise fried chicken offerings with catchy names such as ‘hatrik’, which is a three piece; ‘starta’, and ‘double dp’, which is done when playing the game of dominoes, and ‘flex’ for family meals.
Cummings says had he known that fried chicken sold as much as it did, he would have done this 15 years ago.
“When you’re on the outside looking in, all you think about is buying chicken. When you’re on the inside, you realise how much Jamaicans love fried chicken, and I’m very pleased that they love Bird Shack’s,” he stated.
In fact, he is predicting this is the future of chicken in terms of quick serve for the rest of Jamaica.
With access to 8,000 business process outsourcing staff at the tech park, Bird Shack plans to introduce a breakfast menu within two months at the new location.
Currently, they open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For breakfast, their doors will open at 7 a.m.