New Programs and Products for Deli Fried Chicken

KANSAS CITY — Driven by the chicken sandwich wars and an increased desire for “comfort foods” brought on by the pandemic, fried chicken consumption is about as high as it’s ever been. That’s according to Greg West, senior vice president of marketing and food innovation for Beloit, Wis.-based Broaster Company, the producer of the Genuine Broaster Fried Chicken program.

“The question really is how much of that will stick post-pandemic, and I think it will,” said West. “Fried chicken is a core comfort food, and the last three years have done nothing but support that trend. It’s done that through increased consumption of the basic fried chicken on the bone, chicken tenders and chicken sandwiches, which has done nothing except create even more popularity around fried chicken.”

Because of the portability of most fried chicken varieties and applications, the grocery channel is poised to be able to take advantage of that as consumers increasingly look to their local grocer to help put dinner on the table.

Spicing things up

GBC Chicken spicyThe overall taste and satisfaction retailers can offer with their fried chicken programs, the more likely customers will keep coming back for repeat purchases, pointed out West. As fried chicken offerings and possibilities expand further than the typical 8-piece package of fried chicken, he recommended supermarkets consider focusing on four key flavor segments:

  • An original or signature category
  • Southern Crispy – a variety that focuses on extra crispiness
  • A spicy product for both the above categories
  • The ability for consumers to add their own flavor by leveraging sauces and marinades

“All of these categories are growing,” West said. “It’s not like people are only interested in spicy, or that the core original category is depleting, and it’s not like crispy chicken is replacing the original category either. There’s huge growth in all areas.”

Retailers can also add new flavor varieties to the chicken breading to add limited time menu offers or unique fried chicken staples customers can’t get anywhere else.

“Breading flavors can offer a savory taste – with hints of garlic, onion, sea salt, and black pepper,” said Laura West, marketing and innovations team for Montgomery, Ala.-based Wynn’s Grain & Spice. “Breading can also deliver heat – in either a slow build or a more upfront intensity. Wynn’s offers a line of topical seasoning spices that allow retailers to play with innovative flavor combinations.”

Wynn’s most popular fried chicken breading blends include:

  • Wynn’s All Natural Crimson Breading – a bold, savory blend crafted with clean and simple ingredients. Customers eat with their eyes and paprika gives this blend a mouthwatering golden-brown finish that will draw customers to try it.
  • Wynn’s Fiery Hot Breading brings the heat as the company’s signature spicy blend. Balanced out by the finest grains, Fiery Hot Breading offers intensity without offending milder palates. Wynn’s Fiery Hot has heat that builds and is balanced by a light and crispy finish.

“Seasonings allow retailers to play with innovative flavor combinations by topping fried chicken with a signature flavor for a limited time,” Wynn’s West noted. “For example, fried chicken topped with sea salt and pepper, a Cajun blend, or spicy chipotle flavors.”

Broaster offers full-menu chicken programs

Broaster signature sidesWith Broaster’s Genuine Fried Chicken, the company helps retailers develop their menu to suit their specific needs. Once a plan is in place, retailers will choose their equipment and merchandising options. Through Broaster’s the chicken is cooked in a Broaster-provided pressure fryer, and retailers can choose to market the chicken with the Broaster’s label or under a private label.

The company can supply retailers with menu boards, graphics, templates and social media partnerships.

Broaster’s menu includes a variety of options including assorted fried chicken boxes, popcorn chicken, sandwiches, wings, chicken tenders, and sides such as mac n’ cheese, potato wedges, baked beans, coleslaw and mashed potatoes & gravy. The fried chicken varieties include:

  • Genuine Broaster Chicken –  Fresh, 8 piece cut chicken is marinated in Chickite marinade and then lightly coated with Slo-Bro coating. Genuine Broaster Chicken is one of the only chicken programs on the market with a bread ahead coating process.
  • Genuine Broaster Chicken Spicy – uses an Extra Spicy Slo-Bro coating to kick the heat up.
  • Genuine Broaster Chicken Tenders – feature a crunchy coating in a boneless format consumers are seeking. Tenders are growing in popularity among the younger demographics.

“We offer great restaurant quality with defined flexibility,” said Broaster’s West. “That flexibility then coupled with our support really provides a kind of a mouthwatering product, to drive traffic to your deli and drive sales, not just for chicken but also all the things that go with it.”’


Oil Management with Restaurant Technologies VP Jason Cocco

Supermarket Perimeter: What are the most important steps retailers should be taking to ensure that they’re doing proper oil management with fried chicken programs?

Broasted ChickenJason Cocco: One: ensuring that they’re using really good quality oil. If you’re putting bad oil in you’re going to get a bad product. Ensure that you’re working with a good manufacturer partner that provides you a good high-quality oil. The second thing is ensuring that they’re filtering the oil on a set frequency. We recommend two to three times a day for three to five minutes — especially with chicken, and if it’s freshly battered chicken, there’s a lot of sediment and the flour and the breading comes off, and that frying process has a tendency to degrade the oil. Lastly, ensuring that you have a good process by which to say, when the oil is degraded too much, let’s make sure we put more in.

SP: What technology do you recommend retailers take advantage of to ensure top oil management?

JC: Our automated oil management system, where we put two tanks in the restaurant, and generally the operator of the fryer has to push a button to add oil and dispose of oil that really creates a much more safe environment. It’s a lot easier for the employees to operate, and also provides them some tools to understand, as I mentioned earlier about how much oil they’re using, how are they filtering it, when they should be filtering and so that’s one piece. Another thing that we recently came out with is an option to get rid of their rotisserie grease. Getting rid of the frying grease is an issue for everyone, given the significant growth in rotisserie chickens. Those also have grease that come out of those machines, and they needed something to deal with it and that’s generally a very manual process. So we created some solutions to automate how they handle the rotisserie grease as well.

SP: How do your products integrate with existing equipment that retailers may already have?

JC: We work with all the major manufacturers and suppliers. They (equipment) generally come to the location ready. If not, we have a kit that we can hook up so there’s no investment in new fryers or other equipment necessary to hook up our equipment. We’re compatible and give service to over 30,000 different customers across both retail and restaurants.

For complete story: supermarketperimeter.com
By Emily Park

Sink or Swim! 3 Ways Trusted Resources Can Become Your Life Raft

In the wake of such a devastating year for restaurants, it’s safe to say we could all use a little more help and trusted resources. Between mandated lockdowns, supply chain disruptions, and a wide variety of other challenges caused by the global pandemic, the waters have been choppy to say the least.

The fact that your restaurant is still standing is a testament to your resolve, perseverance, and ability to adapt on the fly to meet your customers’ changing demands.

At Broaster, we are so proud of the resiliency we’ve witnessed throughout the food service industry over the last year. But even the most resilient business owners need trusted 3rd party resources at times to fill in service gaps, keep current on industry trends, and ultimately…become more profitable.

1) Trusted Resources Allow You to Move More Nimbly

trusted resources can help you in providing contactless food options for your customers.It was tough sledding for restaurant owners and managers last year, but the eateries that were able to succeed did so by learning to change and adapt quickly and for the better.

One common area that restaurants relied on external vendors for assistance this past year was upgrading Point-of-Sale Systems (POS) in order to track sales, cash flows, food inventory and more. POS systems also provide enhanced visibility and accountability, while helping you simplify your bookkeeping processes. (Who wouldn’t want that?)

And with mobile and contactless ordering still showing up strong in 2021, a top-notch POS system can be a true difference maker for your business…helping you work smarter not harder.

Further Reading: 7 Best Restaurant POS Systems

2) Trusted Resources Provide Guidance on Trends & Best Practices

Keeping track of public health guidelines/restrictions as well as newly recommended food safety practices was, in itself, a full-time job in 2020. But these things also pull you away from other aspects of managing your restaurant.

This is why partnering with a reliable, knowledgeable, and trustworthy resource like Broaster is more important than ever and can help to bail you out of a stress-filled lifeboat by providing support, training, and assistance where you need it most.

With over 65 years under our belt serving the food service industry, we at Broaster have proven our worth by supporting our operators in many ways, such as:

  • Offering premium cooking equipment, food programs, and hands-on training
  • Providing Insights into Top Menu Trends
  • Creating Contactless To-Go Packaging
  • Providing Branded Table Tents, Posters, and Signage
  • Recommending Menu Options and Supplying Menu Boards

We also have the benefit of working with operators across the country, so we can share how other like-minded businesses are experiencing success.

3) Trusted Resources Help You Become More Profitable

Broasted ChickenThe best example of how trusted vendors can help restaurants become more profitable was the transition of sales revenue from primarily dine-in orders to primarily carry-out, curbside pick-up, or delivery this past year.

Not only were restaurants tasked with pivoting quickly but many had to establish new workflows, allocate labor, and reshape their menus from the ground up. Oh, and this was essentially needed overnight as well…

Now, it’s possible to have done all this without any outside help but it sure would’ve been quicker and easier to seek out a resource that specializes in one of these areas.

In terms of delivery, tech platforms such as DoorDash, Eatstreet, Grubhub, Uber Eats and more can fill in this service gap fast while getting your brand in front of hungry customers.

These platforms have helped vast amounts of restaurants implement a strong delivery business and make the most of shifting sales opportunities to keep themselves from sinking out in uncharted waters.

Further Reading: Best food delivery service: DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats and more compared

Looking for a Trusted Partner to Help Keep Your Restaurant Afloat? Let Broaster Give You a Boost.

Becoming a trademarked Genuine Broaster Chicken operator is so much more than a partnership, we can be a valuable, trusted resource to help your restaurant get where you need to go.

Unlike other franchise agreements, we offer defined flexibility to help meet your establishment’s unique business needs. Plus, we don’t cut into your profits by charging franchise fees!

To learn more about our turnkey food programs and how they might become a life raft for your restaurant, feel free to reach out online today.

Chicken Wars: Broaster Strikes Back

Genuine Broaster Chicken has what you need to win the chicken wars

A long time ago (well, less than two years, but anything before COVID-19 seems like a long time), in a land far, far away (hey, Miami is far if you live in Seattle!), a culinary phenomenon was born that would launch the most far-reaching fast-food conflict the world has ever seen. Yes, we’re talking about … CHICKEN WARS (cue the John Williams music)!

chicken wars, Broaster C-wing fighterIt may sound a little far-fetched, but “Chicken Wars” is, indeed, what the media has been dubbing the battle for chicken sandwich dominance. It started in August 2019, when Miami-based Popeyes debuted its fried chicken sandwich—a menu item that would eventually net a 34 percent increase in store sales for the restaurant in the fourth quarter of 2019. Fast food chicken king Chick-fil-A started a social media feud with Popeyes, touting its superior product as the ultimate chicken sandwich, and soon the publicity for both chains was sending sales through the roof.

In the year and a half since the Chicken Wars started, dozens of quick-serve restaurants have thrown their hats in the ring, all claiming to have the juiciest, most flavorful fried chicken sandwich of all. They want to capitalize on the most recent market trends, which have shown that Americans are eating less beef and more chicken. The chicken sandwich craze has shown no signs of slowing down—in late February, McDonald’s released three new poultry menu items that the chain hopes to use to breathe new life into its late-winter menu.

So, if consumers are looking for a chicken sandwich these days, there’s no shortage of places for them to try. You could say that fried chicken sandwiches are a dime a dozen—no matter how much smack talking they participate in with their competitors. There are a lot of chicken sandwiches, but there’s only ONE Broasted Chicken Sandwich—and that comes from the Broaster Company in Beloit, WI.

Genuine Broasted Goodness

The Broaster Company story began back in 1954, when L.A.M. Phelan combined the principles of a deep fryer and a pressure cooker into one commercial kitchen appliance. The process was so unique, Phelan coined the term “broasting,” and two years later, he formed the Broaster Company. Over the next several decades, Phelan’s Genuine Broasted Chicken gained first regional, then national, attention as one of the best poultry menu items on the market. The company began expanding the Broaster Foods coatings and marinades to include ingredients that it used to pressure fry other foods, including fish, vegetables, beef and pork. In the 1990s, it started offering frozen foods.

Broaster chicken, the clear winner of the chicken warsThe Broaster brand name has become synonymous with GREAT-tasting chicken. When consumers walk into a restaurant, convenience store or grocery store, or up to a concession stand, and see “Broaster” on the menu, they immediately recognize that this chicken is something special. As they take a whiff of the Broaster Company’s signature marinade and coating, their mouth begins to water, all thoughts of a diet fly out of their head, and they are consumed by a single-minded desire: They must eat this chicken, and they must eat it now.

So, it’s safe to say that becoming a Broaster operator is the best decision a business owner or manager can make. Not only does it attract paying customers, but it’s also incredibly EASY—at the Broaster Company, we don’t force you to incorporate a long, complicated menu into your offerings. If you only want to serve sandwiches and hand-cut potato wedges, hey, that’s cool with us! You do what makes sense for your business, and we’ll support you in any way we can.

Of course, we don’t just give you the ingredients and wish you luck. Our Broaster Operators are fully equipped to offer delicious, mouth-watering foods fresh from the fryer. We’ll provide you with our patented Broaster Equipment and certified training for operators, so you’ll know exactly how to prepare our chicken and other menu items to be fresh and ready for gobbling. And if all that wasn’t already fabulous enough … we don’t charge franchise or licensing fees! So, you’ll make more profit off the food you sell than, say, a franchise owner of one of those quick-serve restaurants we were talking about before.

Join Our Team

Speaking of those quick-serve restaurants … we at the Broaster Company, at least, are thrilled that chicken is finally getting its due with the Chicken Wars. It’s way healthier than beef, incredibly versatile and contains tons of protein to give you energy all day long. And—we’re not biased at all—we think chicken is the juiciest, most flavorful, most crave-worthy meat on the planet.

So—isn’t it about time you latched on to this hot trend and got yourself in the chicken business? These days, there are lots of ads featuring mouth-watering chicken sandwiches, so it’s a good bet there will be plenty of customers entering your store or restaurant looking for great-tasting chicken. Join the Genuine Broaster Chicken team!

The History of the Genuine Broaster Chicken Logo

Few things in life can say so much with so little – but that’s exactly what logos do. Buried somewhere deep in the subconscious, our brains pick up subtle, little details which create a connection between a certain set of graphic marks/symbols and a particular brand.

And, the best logos have meaning. They’re like mirrors that reflect the products/services, values, and legacies of the brands they represent. In short, logos are pretty dang cool.

So cool, in fact, that we felt it was time to share a behind-the-scenes look at how the Genuine Broaster Chicken logo has reflected our company over the years…and will continue to do so with an eye to the future.

“Brands are important. When they’re strong, you can see them a mile away.” – Greg West, Broaster VP of Marketing & Food Innovation

Genuine Broaster Chicken Logo: The Origin Story

Take a stroll with us (if you will) back to the late 1950s. Eisenhower was president, I Love Lucy was still on the air, and Genuine Broaster Chicken had its first logo designed and produced.

With restaurants and supper clubs being the first food service channel, the initial GBC logo (as pictured above) was created to help us communicate that Broaster consistently offers great-tasting, high-quality chicken (at the time, we only offered our 8-piece Bone-In Chicken as GBC) to our operators and their customers.

GBC Logo 1966

The color scheme consisted of white, black, and a reddish-orange color to speak to our fresh, fun, and playful young company. As you can see, the chicken character is wearing a top hat…which is no accident either.

Back in the day, hats were commonly worn in public, and top hats were worn on especially classy occasions.

By including the top hat directly atop the chicken character’s head, the logo began positioning Broaster as a finer form of chicken…a superior chicken product and not just some average chicken operation.

Logo Changes Through the Years

Over the next few decades, as our company grew, it became more and more important that our logo and branding materials respect the past, yet become more contemporary and forward-looking.

As you can see, a variety of new business arms also came about with Broaster Foods, Broaster To-Go, etc., each with their own signage, packaging, and logo usage needs.

Eventually, a shift was made from showing the whole chicken character (who remains nameless, by the way) to creating a clear, recognizable icon with our chicken character in a top hat at the center of it all.

Again, this indicates superior quality that you can trust…even on the go.

As our company matured, we also transitioned to a red, white, and blue color scheme to play up our origins and future as a Midwest company.

“Even if I didn’t know that it was Broaster, the updated color scheme really looks and feels Midwest. It was a great update to bring us closer to the iconic logo we’re now using.” – Greg West, Broaster VP of Marketing & Food Innovation.GBC Logo timeline

Current Logo: Where Do We Go from Here?

And, that brings us to the current Genuine Broaster Chicken logo – a more modern, contemporary adaptation of the logos that came before it.

This truly iconic design is fresh, clean, clear, and downright neighborly, paying great homage to the past, but also looking boldly toward the future.

GBC logo, animated “What I really like about the current GBC logo is that it’s been carefully and intentionally designed as an icon, which helps us extend the equity of its meaning to our other food programs. It says that you can expect restaurant-quality…now at c-stores, grocery delis, sports venues, and more.” – Greg West, Broaster VP of Marketing & Food Innovation

The top hat was taken off the chicken’s head and placed into a waving motion. Why, you ask? Well, it helps our brand stay relevant and approachable in a marketplace that features a growing number of younger operators today and may even prepare us for a day when the hat is no longer needed to symbolize quality…who knows?

One thing is for sure, though, and that’s that there is only one Genuine Broaster Chicken and as soon as you see our iconic logo…you know it!

How to Serve Restaurant Quality Chicken at a Grocery Deli

Be honest – when was the last time you got a really great meal from a grocery store deli counter? In most cases, even if the food wasn’t downright bad, it was probably just…forgettable.

And forgettable doesn’t lead to repeat business. That’s a problem.

But don’t worry – there’s good news! If you manage a grocery store deli, all is not lost. You CAN serve restaurant quality chicken to drive customer satisfaction and keep people coming back for more.

Here’s how to do it in 3 simple steps:

Step 1 – Start Fresh (Literally!)

Broasted Chicken When your food sales are down, it’s easy to get caught up in the apparent problem…”sales are down.” But in order to flip the script and become profitable again, you have to identify the REAL problem…”quality.”

Many grocery store delis cook their chicken ahead of time, and then it just sits and sits and sits…sometimes for 3, 4, even 5 hours.

We don’t mean to be harsh or overly critical, but we will shoot straight with you on this because quality is so, so critical in the food service industry.

Quality food satisfies hungry customers, builds loyalty, fuels repeat transactions, and creates brand advocates who constantly produce new customers through word-of-mouth and social media.

The best way to ensure the quality of your chicken is to start with a fresh, local product, develop a consistent cooking process, and serve it up hot.

Further Reading – Top 5 Secrets to Truly Craveable Chicken

Step 2 – Jumpstart Demand with Signature Menu Items

Broaster signature sidesWith an emphasis on freshness in mind, it’s time to take an honest look at your menu items and product offerings. Most grocery store deli menus are tired and/or just trying to do too much with too little.

It’s time for an upgrade. Take a good look at your menu and product design and evaluate what’s working and what isn’t.

You will likely need to cut down the number of menu items you offer to really feature your best, most profitable options.

These are your signature menu items, and they’re the all-stars you want to build your menu around to create meaningful separation from your competitors.

Further Reading – How Signature Menu Items Drive Revenue During Quarantiine…and Beyond!

Step 3 – Refine Your Platform & Process


With fresh ingredients and a qualified menu, comes great responsibility. It’s now time to finely tune your cooking platform and serving process to ensure those hot and fresh signature items make it to your hungry customers the same way.

This likely means upgrading to higher-performing cooking equipment, smoothing out labor inefficiencies, investing in associate training, and updating signage and packaging.

As a Broaster operator, we can help you get both your back of house and front of house in order. When you take advantage of our trademarked food program, you gain the ability to pre-coat chicken in the morning and cook closer to order with fast, reliable premium pressure frying equipment.

Your customers win with tasty chicken that’s crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and you win by controlling labor costs and serving restaurant quality Broasted chicken to your customers while your competitors settle for the status quo.

Why Genuine Broaster Chicken?

There are many advantages to partnering with a reliable, trusted hot food program like Genuine Broaster Chicken – whether you’re an independent operator, regional chain, or large national grocery chain.

As a Broaster Operator, you get…

  • Our branded badge of true restaurant quality
  • Exclusive differentiator of offering “Broasted” vs. “fried” chicken
  • The extended benefit of staying abreast with new products, new equipment, & consumer trends
  • Brand support as we continue to build the Broaster brand within the marketplace
  • No fees, royalties, or franchise contract
  • On-site service & equipment training

Are you ready to take your grocery deli’s menu from “meh” to “Mmm”? Don’t be a chicken… request a quote, or schedule a food demo today!

How to Customize Your Broasted Chicken Menu

Although it rarely pays to mess with a classic, innovation is key for restaurants looking to attract new customers and drive vital revenue growth. But…this is a real challenge.

After all, you have to keep your regulars happy (who love your eatery the way it is), but you also have to try new things to – quite literally – feed your new patron pipeline.

Luckily, it’s never been easier to offer a timeless, yet highly versatile menu platform with a Genuine Broaster Chicken food program.

Here’s how to customize your menu to satisfy your hungry customers!

Start with the Basics: Chicken…Perfected

Genuine Broaster Chicken PackagingWhen you want to try something new, it never hurts to consult an expert. That’s why we caught up with Broaster Field Operations Development Leader, Chef Ken Folisi to share his thoughts on customizing Genuine Broaster Chicken.

Chef Ken has been in food service since he was a teenager and managed his own restaurant before joining the Broaster team.

No one keeps more current with food service trends than he does, so when asked about why our food programs are so successful in a variety of culinary environments, he had this to say:

“Well, Broasted Chicken is fresh, never frozen. Our signature marinades, cooking process, pressure frying equipment, and resulting products (always crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside) fuel great customer experiences and in turn…repeat business.

Although you need to follow our trademarked guidelines in order to truly serve and advertise “Broasted Chicken,” this is still the perfect starting point for customizing your menu items.

From traditional bone-in chicken to hand-breaded tenders to chicken sandwiches or even wings…you’re starting with a proven quality recipe that consumers know and love, so then…you just have to add your own flair to the equation.”

Well said…Chef Ken…well said. We truly believe that when it comes to customizing menu items that feature Genuine Broaster Chicken, the only limit is your own imagination.

3 Easy Ways to Customize Your Broasted Chicken Menu Items

Okay…so, you want to serve Broasted chicken in several forms. That’s good, we encourage that, but the next step is to customize your menu items to match the unique culinary style and aesthetic of your restaurant.

Luckily, we know three super, simple ways to get your creative juices flowing:

1) Signature Sauces

Broasted Chicken special saucesNothing complements mouthwatering Genuine Broaster Chicken better than pairing our trusted recipe with a signature sauce of your own design. In the restaurant business, we see this most commonly with items like chicken wings or boneless tenders.

For wings, try introducing your own signature buffalo, ranch, bbq, or extreme hot sauce?

For boneless tenders, maybe concoct some sort of honey mustard or honey sriracha, chipotle mayo…even signature gravy (shoutout to our Canadian neighbors to the North).

The possibilities are endless, so have some fun with the process! We know you’ll come up with some amazing sauce combinations.

BONUS TIP – Show a little behind-the-scenes on your social media accounts to start building intrigue for new sauces, or use some of your best customers as a mini-focus group to get some feedback.

2) Signature Sides

Broaster signature sidesThe best thing about serving a versatile, blue chip menu item is that you can simply build around it with creative, signature sides. And this can be done in so many different ways.

For example, why not find ways to enhance a traditional Broasted chicken dinner in a family restaurant setting with hand-rolled biscuits, gourmet mac & cheese, or even your secret family coleslaw recipe to give your customers plenty of homestyle options?

Or, let’s say you wanted to serve a signature chicken sandwich (incredibly popular right now) featuring a hand-breaded, marinated, Broaster pressure fried fillet.

You could create a signature combination of homemade bun with locally-sourced cheese and toppings, or whip up some house cut/seasoned potato chips with a signature pickle?

BONUS TIP – Chef Ken recommends pairing a traditional chicken dinner with Broaster potato wedges, as they can actually be pressure fried in the same basket as bone-in Broasted chicken for efficient cooking and added flavor.

3) Think Outside the Box

Broasted Chicken Chicken for breakfast? Hand-pulling meat off the bone for soups or salads? Rotating menu items? With ever-evolving taste buds and preferences, consumers are constantly looking for their next great meal experience.

Satisfy your hungry customers by trying things you’ve never done before. Those who continue to develop new, custom dishes and always have something exciting to offer will remain relevant in the minds of their customers.

One of the greatest advantages to becoming a Genuine Broaster Chicken operator is that you don’t only get a single menu item…but an entire menu platform with the added ability to update seasonally and utilize in a variety of unique ways.

BONUS TIP – Don’t feel like you need to abandon all your tried-and-true menu items and start over. That will only upset your most loyal patrons. Instead, identify your most popular and profitable items to see if there is a way to create an additional menu item with a fresh appeal (i.e. offering spicy options in addition to regular or adding a seasonal twist).

It’s Time to Get Creative…with Genuine Broaster Chicken!

So… are you feeling inspired and ready to start experimenting? If you’re already an operator, we can’t wait to learn how you’re customizing Broasted chicken menu items to meet the needs of your distinct customers.

However, if you’re new to Broaster and would like to learn more, feel free to get more details on our top-notch, trademark food programs.

Although there are plenty of advantages to becoming a Broaster operator (I mean, we don’t even have franchise fees, so you can keep your own profits), we’ll give Chef Ken the final word…

“Genuine Broaster Chicken has been a well-established comfort food (especially in the Midwest) for generations. But, even if you’re from a different part of the country where Broasted chicken isn’t well-known, offering “Broasted” vs. “fried” chicken just becomes a great way to differentiate your restaurant from the next.

It gives you something different to talk about and add to the uniqueness of your restaurant experience, which is really valuable.

I mean, I managed a restaurant that served Genuine Broaster Chicken for years…and eventually left to join the company. That’s how much I believe in it.” – Chef Ken Folisi, Broaster Field Ops. Development Leader

Top 5 Secrets to Truly Craveable Chicken

When you’ve been supporting restaurant owners and managers for as long as we have (65 years and counting), you tend to notice certain patterns of success…like what it takes to consistently serve up high-quality, craveable chicken that keeps customers coming back for more.

We thought to ourselves, “Why not take a closer look at these patterns and compile a list of “trade secrets” to help others find similar success?”

“That’s a great idea!” we also thought to ourselves. But, before we dive into all that, we should start with some chicken trends.

Chicken is the Most Consumed Meat Out There

Genuine Broaster ChickenNearly everyone loves to eat chicken in some shape or form, and we have the stats to back it up.

According to Technomic’s 2017 Center of the Plate: Poultry report, 91% of consumers say they eat chicken at least once a week, topping other proteins such as beef, pork or turkey.

That’s a pretty high number, so it makes sense that restaurants and retailers alike are focused on offering innovative, craveable chicken options to their customers.

Because it’s so versatile, chicken is a great fit for menu items of all kinds – from health-conscious chicken-topped green salads to more indulgent fried chicken with all the trimmings.

Innovative, new iterations of chicken are popping up on menus all over the place. Restaurants are finding plenty of ways to mix things up based on regional favorites or trending flavors (i.e. chicken and waffles, Nashville hot chicken, or some other culinary creation) to satisfy their loyal customers and attract new ones.

A Diverse Range of Consumers with Diverse Preferences

Speaking of customers new and old, fried chicken provides them all with a familiar comfort food at a relatively low cost, but fried chicken also means different things to different people.

For some, fried chicken means an order of wings, while others may consider chicken strips to be the gold-standard. A little more than half of consumers prefer white meat over dark meat, and younger consumers are more interested in boneless options such as tenders and popcorn chicken. On the flip-side, older consumers prefer bone-in options.

With such a diverse range of consumers looking to order chicken – millennials and baby boomers, men and women, busy corporate workers and blue-collar wage-earners alike – it’s important to know your restaurant’s clientele inside and out, so you can tailor your craveable chicken dishes to their unique preferences.

Secrets of Successfully Serving Craveable Chicken [Top 5 List]

Ready to dig into some best practices to ensure your fried chicken turns out delicious and consistent? Here’s our recipe for success!

1) Start with Fresh Chicken Raised on Family Farms

A farm-fresh starting product is key to ensuring quality all the way through to your customers’ plates. Whether you’re serving cut up bone-in chicken or marinated chicken tenders…the quality of the meat matters.

2) Marinate Down to the Bone (or Core)

So you have a farm-fresh starter product, which is great, but now it’s time to marinate.

During this process, make sure the chicken is marinated all the way to the bone (or core on a boneless product). This provides moisture and flavor throughout the meat.

3) Hand Breading > Machine Breading

Now that your farm-fresh chicken is marinated to the core, it’s time to coat the product with Genuine Broaster Chicken’s secret, 65 year-old signature blend of herbs and spices.

For best results, even coating, and consistent flavor, we recommend hand breading rather than machine breading. Your customers can taste the extra effort in producing an evenly coated, higher-quality chicken product.

Trust us…our proven recipe has been making people go, “Mmm!” for generations.

4) It HAS to be Pressure Fried [CRITICAL]

When your fresh, fully-marinated, hand-breaded chicken is ready to hit the fryer, we simply cannot stress pressure frying as a superior cooking method enough.

We may seem a little biased, but there’s a reason we believe so strongly in our robust line-up of pressure frying equipment. It’s because Broaster Pressure Fryers really, truly do produce the best, highest-quality chicken possible. It is more juicy, cooks in less time and provides a less greasy product.

It’s why we can confidently say that Genuine Broaster Chicken is the taste of chicken perfected – and that’s a powerful impression to leave on your customers.

5) Keep It Hot & Fresh

Of course, you can start with the best chicken, marinate it to the core, bread it by hand with signature herbs & spices, and cook in a premium Broaster Pressure Fryer…and it could still fall short if you fail to keep it hot and fresh.

This final “secret” may seem like common sense, but it can easily be overlooked. In food service, it’s often the tiniest details that can make or break a menu item.

Don’t get sloppy. Keep your chicken craveable by maintaining proper temperature and freshness to serve your customers mouthwatering broasted chicken that’s crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside – every time. With quicker cook times you can cook less more often and serve fresh product each and every time.

– BONUS TIP –

If you consistently hit all five of the secret steps listed above, your restaurant will absolutely knock it out of the park with consumer liking scores, preference tests, and depth of purchase numbers – all of which are great indicators of success.

Now, it’s up to you to deliver. We know you can do it…and are even willing to help!

How to Get Started with Genuine Broaster Chicken

With the combination of Broaster Equipment, food product, branded packaging, and more, we make it as simple as possible to serve your customers what they want by becoming a Genuine Broaster Chicken trademarked operator.

With the ease of setup, quick preparation, and ongoing support through hands-on training, our turnkey branded food program not only competes with quick-service and fast-food chicken concepts, we outperform them.

And the best part? We don’t require any franchise or licensing fees, so you get to keep all your own profits.

At the end of the day, there are a lot of places serving fried chicken out there…but there’s only one Genuine Broaster Chicken.

Tailoring fried chicken programs for success amid pandemic

Genuine Broaster ChickenKANSAS CITY, MO. – Since coronavirus (COVID-19) rattled the country, consumers have been turning to comfort foods like fried chicken, leaving plenty of room for grocers to play up their fried chicken program offerings with a few adjustments to fit into the post-COVID-19 world.


Packaging solutions 

Reinforcing takeout and delivery strategies amid COVID-19 isn’t only important for restaurants, it’s vital for grocery prepared foods programs like fried chicken, too. But greasy, crisp, fried foods like fried chicken provide an extra packaging challenge. In order for grocers to market fried chicken in a grab-and-go context, packaging that keeps meals like an eight-piece prepared package of fried chicken fresh, crisp and hot is going to be key.

Ballwin, Mo.-based Anchor Packaging recognizes that packaging for hot to-go foods should have the following features:

  • Leak-resistant, with tight closure to avoid messy spills en route
  • Special features to keep fried foods, both hot and crisp
  • Re-closable bases and lids made with dishwasher-safe, reusable materials
  • The ability to withstand temperatures to 230 degrees Fahrenheit under a heat lamp or in the microwave
  • Capable of consumer reuse and recycled after multiple uses

Foam and paper packaging rarely meets those critical characteristics, so the packaging company recommends using rigid, polypropylene plastic containers, with hinged or separate bases and lids that in the least provide performance and protection needed to deliver taste profiles comparable to what a customer might enjoy if they would sit down and eat the meal straight after ordering it from the deli counter.

Fried hot foods like fried chicken need packaging that meets those aspects and beyond. That’s why Anchor introduced its line of Crisp Food Technologies containers designed to keep food hot and crispy.

Genuine Broaster Chicken Packaging

“The line of Crisp Food Technologies containers were developed to keep fried chicken hot and crisp in supermarket displays for up to four hours,” said Marilyn Stapleton, director of marketing for Anchor. “Crisp Food Technologiescombined with Nature’s Best Roasters, are perfect for hot-to-go deli offerings for the store shopper or online orders for curbside pick-up and home delivery. Consumers may be more aware of the high-quality prepared foods available in the deli during the COVID-19 crisis, and merchandisers should take advantage of promoting their no-wait packaged hot meal solutions. Advertising hot meal options in grocery loyalty programs will remind consumers to continue to consider the store as a source for their ready-to-eat meals.”

Available in hinged and separate lid-base options, the crisp food containers maintain the taste of fried entrees and sides using a patented convection cross-flow design that relieves moisture and condensation while maintaining food temperature.

Earlier this year, Anchor added to the line with the launch of Fry Baby, a clear, hinged container specifically intended to hold fried chicken strips and other fried side items. The new packaging option is the lowest-priced container in the Crisp Food Technologies line and costs less than some paper containers. The aspect of clear packaging is also vital in merchandising the look of a fresh meal to consumers.


Branded programs

Genuine Broaster Chicken TendersWith the mission-driven shopping habits of post-COVID-19 consumers, it’s more important than ever to remind shoppers that fresh, ready-to-eat food like fried chicken is available to pick up and take home for an easy family meal. Branded friend chicken programs such as Genuine Broaster Chicken is especially beneficial when it comes to merchandising to customers.

Beloit, Wis.-based Broaster Company can partner with retailers to introduce its Genuine Broaster Fried Chicken trademark program. Under the program, grocers can brand their fried chicken with Broaster’s trademark if the retailer uses at least one of Broaster Company’s pressure fryers, uses the brand’s marinades, follows the brand’s cooking procedures and presents the brand appropriately.

Under the Broaster trademark, retailers can choose to use just Broaster’s signature chicken and offer customers their own sides or they can choose to go through Broaster for both chicken and sides. Retailers can also choose to customize their own program using their own selection of Broaster seasonings, marinades, equipment and sides, but under this option a retailer would have to use their own private label for the program.

Going through Broaster’s program gives retailers access to the company’s trademark branding. At minimum, retailers will be provided with the Broaster Chicken logo and graphic art that a grocer can feed into its existing programs. Or Broaster can work with retailers to provide menu boards. It’s incredibly important that the fried chicken products look good and have a clear variety of food combinations which will draw in consumers, said Greg West, Broaster’s senior vice president of marketing and food innovation.

“A lot of it’s about the presentation,” West said. “So, if mom or dad is looking for a meal solution and they have three screaming kids with them, they have the ability to see in the deli aisle that they can get 12 pieces of chicken, two sides and rolls for $19.99.”

Retailers also have the option of purchasing equipment from Broaster without participating in the chicken program. But if a retailer goes that route, they won’t have the option to use Broaster’s merchandising tools.

For the entire story from the July 2020 issue of Supermarket Perimeter, click here.

How Signature Menu Items Drive Revenue During Quarantine…and Beyond!

No one could have predicted 2020 would forever be defined by a global pandemic, stay-at-home orders, and social distancing measures…but here we are. With a great magnitude of changes unfolding so rapidly (and without warning), the food service industry has had to adapt in a hurry.

This has been a mighty challenge for local and small chain restaurants, but many are succeeding despite these harsh conditions by finding new, alternative ways to serve signature menu items that their customers know and crave.

At Genuine Broaster Chicken, we’ve been working on the frontlines with our operators to support them during this time and would like to share some encouraging observations on how signature menu items are helping drive food service revenue despite all the uncertainty.

How to Define a “Signature Menu Item” vs. Just Another Menu Item

Crandell's Featured Menu itemLet’s start by taking a step back (before we skip ahead to the good stuff) and defining the term “signature menu item.”

In essence, a signature menu item is one that customers are willing to drive the extra mile to order. From creative entrees, unforgettable sides – even classic cocktails with a new twist, signature items put your restaurant on the map in the minds of your customers.

On the business side of things, signature menu items also tend to make up a higher percentage of total sales revenue, establishing themselves as key contributors of your restaurant’s profitability.

As our own Greg West, SVP of Marketing & Food Innovation puts it:

“Signature menu items are the critical stars in your line-up. Just like any major league sports team, attendance is driven by performance…by winning.

The same goes for the food service industry, and it pays to have those all-star menu items to keep customers coming back week after week, year after year.”

The Importance of Signature Menu Items During Times of Economic Hardship

Broaster chickenAs important as it is to have an all-star lineup under normal circumstances, we’ve seen the need for strong, memorable, signature menu items grow exponentially in the unprecedented, pandemic, times we live in.

Times are A-Changin’

Sometimes, that means deviating from the norm (if there is such a thing in the restaurant business). Restaurants have had to evolve…and evolve fast.

For some, carry-out was never a big part of their business, but it sure is now. Revamping menus and general modes of operation to accommodate the changing landscape of customer needs suddenly became priority-one.

Genuine Broaster Chicken has helped many of our operators do just that…with our trademark food programs that provide more than just signature menu items, they also help you establish a signature menu platform.

From food and breading to frying equipment to training and more…even branded to-go packaging, we help local and small chain restaurants curate the right menu items to meet their customers’ current carry-out preferences, as well as pent-up demand for dine-in options once they open back up.

Alternative Ordering Amplified

Other forward-thinking businesses (many of our operators included) began implementing processes for online ordering, curbside pickup, or off-premise menu development prior to COVID-19 restrictions.

This allowed them to simply adapt and amplify these efforts over the last few months to continue to drive revenue and strengthen their customer bases…and standing within their communities.

Regardless of the situation before the pandemic hit, those who’ve adapted to meet the needs of their customers now are poised to greatly benefit over the long run.

Genuine Broaster Chicken [Operator Testimonials]

During this time of pandemic and economic difficulty, we feel blessed and inspired by many of our operators and how they’ve risen to meet new challenges on a daily basis.

The changing landscape has provided plenty of challenges for Genuine Broaster Chicken as well, but more than anything, it’s given us opportunities to support our operators in a variety of new and exciting ways.

…but don’t just take our word for it.

Crandall'sCrandall’s Restaurant

“The pandemic has made things really hard on us, but the fact that Crandall’s has been a staple of the community for so long has been a tremendous help.

We’re known for our All-You-Can-Eat, “World Famous Broasted Chicken,” made fresh to-order along with our own homemade coleslaw, cinnamon rolls, pies, cakes – you name it.

It’s been so encouraging to see all the familiar faces come and support us through their carry-out orders, and we cannot thank them and Broaster enough.”

-Judy, Co-Owner

Crandall’s Restaurant

Hebron, IL

 

Mac’s Pizza Shack

Mac's Pizza“Although specialty pizzas have always been our bread and butter, Broaster Chicken and Broaster Potato Slices (we call them Mojos) have been HUGE for our carry-out business.

In the first few days of carry-out only, we sold through a whole case of chicken…and since then, we’ve been selling through about a case of chicken and 4-6 cases of Mojos each week.  

And, we never would’ve expected pizza and chicken orders to be going at the same rate…but that’s what happened on Mother’s Day weekend. We even had to purchase extra Broaster to-go packaging because we were running out…so they’ve been great to work with through all this.”

-Erica, Owner

Mac’s Pizza Shack

Janesville, WI

The Perfect Signature Menu Item for Carry-Out? Broasted Chicken.

For many of our operators, Broasted Chicken has been a turn-key solution for driving consistent revenue during quarantine…and the truth is, we don’t expect this to slow down anytime soon.

Fried chicken is one of the easiest protein items to offer on a restaurant menu, and per capita consumption continues to grow year-after-year. It’s easy to customize with a signature sauce or side, so you can add your own creative twist to fit your style.

But the real kicker is just how portable it is…making it the ideal carry-out or delivery option. Paired with Broaster’s branded to-go packaging, which is uniquely designed to prevent sogginess and travel well, you can be sure that your signature food items will stay fresh and delicious all the way home.

Become a Broaster Operator

Interested in learning how Genuine Broaster Chicken can help you add signature menu items to your local or small chain restaurant, during a pandemic or not? Here’s how to become a licensed Broaster trademark operator.

The best part? We don’t require any franchise or licensing fees, so you get to keep all your own profits. And with Genuine Broaster Chicken, you get the competitive advantage using the word “broasted” vs. fried on your menu.

There are a lot of places serving fried chicken out there…but there’s only one Genuine Broaster Chicken.

Broasted chicken is a Wisconsin invention

BELOIT – Confession: I’m a lifelong Wisconsinite who has long enjoyed Broasted chicken and long assumed Broasted was just a term we use in place of fried chicken.  Like bubbler instead of drinking fountain.

Order Broasted chicken and you get this beautiful, golden, crunchy outside, juicy inside, slightly salty piece of poultry goodness. That’s fried chicken. Right?

Wrong.

Kinda.

Broasted chicken is fried in oil. But it is fried, in essence, inside a pressure cooker. Generically speaking, the machinery that can fry and pressure cook chicken simultaneously is known as a pressure fryer.

However, to be Genuine Broaster Chicken requires more than a pressure fryer. The Wisconsin supper club staple food has gone worldwide now, but it all traces back to a 65-year-old Wisconsin institution, complete with patents and a carefully guarded secret recipe. And that story takes us to Beloit, home of Broasted chicken.

Can’t an inventor get a piece of fried chicken? Quickly?

L.A.M. Phelan just wanted some fried chicken. And he wanted it quick. Not able to find a device already capable of completing the task, Phelan set out to create one. In 1953 he combined a pressure cooker with a deep fryer as a simple and fast way to cook chicken. The Broaster Company was formed the next year.

It’s impossible to know if he envisioned the day the Wisconsin-based company that arose from his invention would be shipping Broasters to Saudi Arabia, his secret blend of spices to India or hosting a crew from Estonia for training.

I’m guessing not, but, still, here we are in 2018 and more than 4,000 operators worldwide use Phelan’s pressure fryers and program.

Oh, and by the way, Broasted is trademarked. So is Broaster.

Wisconsin is squeaky cheese curds, fishing spots, Packers fans and time spent by the lake. It’s also the Milwaukee entrepreneur, the Hmong artisan and the dairy farmer. Stories in our Be Wisconsin series look at deeply rooted tradition and at the surprising ways the state culture is changing.
Read more

If you’re not using our pressure fryer, coatings and marinade, says Broaster CEO Jay Cipra, you cannot legally use the name Broasted.

They have good reason to be vigilant.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but that salty seasoning flavor comes through in every bite of chicken, even after the crispy skin has long since been devoured. That’s not an accident.

Deep fried under pressure after marinating and being dusted in a blend of spices that have only seen minimal change since Phelan perfected them, chicken that comes out of Broasters oozes clear juices — on your shirt if you’re not careful.

Supper clubs were early Broaster adapters

About the same time Phelan created the commercial grade Broasters, KFC was rising in popularity. Even though the Colonel eventually adapted his own pressure fryer, franchising a KFC limited a restaurant’s options. Nobody’s going there for an authentic Wisconsin Friday fish fry or prime rib on Saturday night.

Broaster has the advantage of being a brand that a supper club, or any restaurant, can incorporate into menus and signs while retaining its own identity.

These days local favorites like Van Abel’s of Hollandtown, Susters Arcade in Denmark, Gosse’s at The Northwestern House in Sheboygan and Parnell’s Place in Oshkosh are not only Broaster purveyors, but have earned Broaster’s golden chicken award for operator excellence.

Parnell’s Place first served Broaster chicken in 1979, as best as owner Tim Hughes can recall, and was the first in Oshkosh to offer Broasted chicken. Hughes’ father owned the restaurant at the time, but when Hughes bought Parnell’s in 1989, there was never a doubt he was sticking with the Broaster program. Chicken accounts for at least 60 percent of food sales, says Hughes, and on Sundays they’re doing more than 1,000 pieces.

It probably doesn’t hurt that if you can snag a seat in Parnell’s cozy dining area on Sunday, chicken dinners are nearly half-price. Between the quality and the price, those dinners more than live up to Parnell’s tagline of “great food, sensibly priced” on the sign out front. The Sunday chicken price is for dine-in only. Buckets of chicken can be ordered to go without the discount.

Hughes has upgraded the largest Broaster made, one that can cook more than 20 pounds of chicken in just about 10 minutes and uses natural gas as heat, which is more efficient than electric models. Still, Hughes has the original Broaster tucked away. He pulls it out for special caterings around AirVenture time.

As word of Broaster chicken spread through local restaurants, the company carried out its own advertising campaigns.

Broaster now employs 60 full-time staff whose duties include sales, distribution and manufacturing.

Each Broaster is built from scratch in Beloit

Bang. Bang. Bang. The rhythmic sound of metal being molded, cut and otherwise fabricated shares the same space as the scent of spices inside the Broaster 56,000-square-foot manufacturing building. It’s been home to all such operations since 1977, when the company outgrew its facility in Rockton, Illinois. Broaster was sold to Alco Standard Corporation in 1970, before being sold to a group of private investors in 1991.

This is where the company receives shipments of everything from stainless steel to salt that will be forged and blended then shipped worldwide.

Machinists cut sheets of metal and aluminum into needed pieces. Electronics are assembled. Welders. Grinders. Tools of the trade stretch through the shop.

All the blending and packaging happens in rooms secluded from the manufacturing and regularly inspected, same as any food industry production facility.

At the heart of Broaster’s pressure fryer is a cylindrical pot. This, says pretty much every Broaster executive, is a big advantage over their competitors. The round design does a better job of evenly heating the oil and thus cooking the chicken.

At the end of the tour, six machines stand in varying stages of completion. I’m told they’re bound for Saudi Arabia.

Nearby, boxes of packaged spice blends and coatings — Broaster has about 50 different varieties — are racked high enough that a forklift is needed to retrieve them.

Pressure frying cooks chicken faster, and juicier

Putting the deep fryer under pressure cuts cooking time. Broaster’s 2400 model, the company’s largest pressure fryer, can produce 22 pounds of chicken in about 10 minutes. If each chicken meets Broaster’s recommended weight, that’s seven chickens.

The ideal chicken delivers eight pieces collectively weighing three pounds. Chickens that size are younger, says Broaster vice president Gregory West, and more tender.

Though 15 years ago each chicken averaged about 2½ pounds. Today’s bigger chickens have pushed cook time from 9½ minutes to 10½ minutes.

Speed is a boon for places like the Brass Rail in Grandy, Minnesota, that on an average week is serving 120,000 pieces.

The faster cook has another advantage. The quicker your cook meat, the less juice you lose, says Hughes.

It also reduces the amount of oil absorbed by foods.

An independent laboratory test in 2007 showed an order of Broasted potato wedges had 30 fewer calories and 3 fewer grams of fat than potato wedges prepared in an open deep fryer.

“Once we lock down the pressure that sears the outside of the chicken,” West said at company headquarters where they were demonstrating the cooking process. “In traditional fryers, once it gets cooking, the oil can get inside the chicken. In pressure fryer, it sears the outside preventing the oil from getting in. When you bite into the chicken you’re getting the natural juices and flavors and not tasting the oil as much.”

Beer battered cheese curds, fresh chicken tenders and Broaster’s future

Broaster continues to innovate. And it’s more than just what other foods can be prepared using traditional Broasting methods, like pork chops.

Broaster Recipe Foods Division formed in 1992 that produces hot wings, chicken strips and most recently, apple pies. These frozen foods are destined for its Broaster Express line most likely to show up in convenience stores and other food purveyors focused on grab-and-go eats. Places where staff and space aren’t available for the Genuine Broaster Chicken.

In addition to the apple pies, Broaster is releasing a Wisconsin cheese curd made with a beer batter. Yes, the beer comes from a beloved state brewery. They still offer a classic breaded cheese curd option.

West credits another Wisconsin original with helping spread the joys of cheese curds: “Because of Culver’s there is becoming a very strong nationwide interest in curds.”

Also look for fresh chicken tenders coated in a batter that carry on the classic Broasted flavor.

Broaster has also acquired Smokaroma that makes a pressure smoker capable of smoking a brisket in three hours or ribs in 45 minutes. They’re also makers of Instant Burger, a cooking press that turns out burgers from fresh patties in less than a minute.

The guts of the pressure fryer is basically the same. Phelan’s genius lives on in that regard. Today’s innovations are more about improving efficiency both to reduce energy use and training time for staff.

Not that Cipra needs those innovations when doing his Thanksgiving turkey in a 2400 model he has at his home. Just follow the program: Marinate. Season. Pressure fry.

Courtesy of Post Crescent