Urban Bird Case Study - Restaurant Labor Savings

Background

When restaurateur Brandon Gawthorp was making plans for Urban Bird Hot Chicken, his Nashville-style hot chicken restaurant in Katy, Texas, he knew the heart of his menu was also going to be the hard part.

“Before we opened, I was worried about the consistency of the fried chicken. Even when I breaded the chicken, it didn’t always turn out right,” he said.

Challenge

Applying a little too much breading made it fall off the chicken instead of clinging to it. A bit too little and the chicken tenders lacked the crunch, flavor and consistency they needed.

Gawthorp knew he needed a solution that would churn out great results without a steep learning curve for new employees. With the traditionally high turnover in restaurants, Gawthorp wanted to ensure diners had a consistent result, no matter who was in the kitchen.

“I wanted something where somebody could come in on the first day, and in five minutes, they could perfectly bread the chicken,” he said.

That’s when he discovered the DrumRoll from AyrKing.

“I needed something that’s simple to execute. The more complicated you make things, the more inconsistent it is. With DrumRoll, the chicken’s breaded perfectly, and it’s really, really quick.”

- Brandon Gawthorp, owner of Urban Bird Hot Chicken

Solution

The DrumRoll is an automated breader that reduces the labor intensity of hand breading while providing unmatched food consistency.

Fresh food — chicken in this case — is loaded into the DrumRoll via a loading chute. Inside the DrumRoll, a unique helix-shaped component tumbles the product, coating the food completely and evenly with breading and sending it down the unloading ramp a minute or two later.

The correct amount of breading not only improves product quality but also reduces “blow-off” of excess breading in the fryer, extending fryer oil.

Compared to hand breading, automated breading with DrumRoll uses 13% less breading and 5% less fryer oil and provides 32% greater consistency and 25% faster production time.

And it’s easy to use.

“I needed something that’s simple to execute. The more complicated you make things, the more inconsistent it is,” Gawthorp said. “With DrumRoll, the chicken’s breaded perfectly, and it’s really, really quick.”

The original Urban Bird Hot Chicken location, which opened in September 2020, produces about 1,600 pounds of chicken tenders each week. After the initial success with the breader, Gawthorp went on to install DrumRolls in his next two Urban Bird locations, both in Houston.

Urban Bird Hot Chicken also uses an AyrKing Breader Blender Sifter (BBS) to evenly blend the restaurant’s signature breading — a mixture of flour, bread crumbs and spices.

“It mixes everything together really well so that everything we use is perfectly consistent,” Gawthorp said.

Learn more about AyrKing’s solutions for food prep efficiency and restaurant success at www.ayrking.com.

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