Scots footy boss Mick Kennedy reveals how his chicken restaurant chain was meant to be just “one store” before business boomed

SCOTS footy boss Mick Kennedy has revealed how his popular chicken restaurant was originally intended to be just “one store” before business boomed to 17 locations.

The East Kilbride boss appeared on the Glasgo Podcast on Tuesday when he was asked by host Gary Dempsey how the concept for his Black Rooster restaurants came about.

The 43-year-old opened the first Black Rooster restaurant on Duke Street, Glasgow in 2017 alongside pal Kevin Bell but has since expanded nationwide.

However, Kennedy revealed that the venture actually began with a suggestion that the pair invest in a rival chicken shop.

The video begins as Gary looks across at Kennedy and asks: “Where did the concept [of Black Rooster] originally come from?”

The former Darvel boss, who sprung a shock on Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup last season, explains: “We actually tried to buy a Pepe’s [Piri Piri restaurant].

“That’s our main competitor when you think about it, so my business partner Kevin, who at that point had a café and a painting and decorating business.

“We used to go to Pepe’s on Great Western Road in the West End when it just opened and then Kev said, ‘Listen mate, why don’t we try to buy one of these?’”

However, Kennedy reveals that the pair decided they could do better by going alone and creating their own chicken shop which became Black Rooster.

Kennedy continues “We tried to buy one and at that point there was only one in Scotland and the guy had owned the rights for Glasgow, he had four going in Glasgow at that point.

“Because both of us were from the East End we wanted to open somewhere up where we knew people.

“We went in and then we thought listen we can actually do this and probably in our opinion do it a bit better – build something that’s more for the Scottish market.”

The duo sat down to consider their options and, staying true to their East End roots, plumped for the city’s Duke Street to be the flagship store of the eatery – content with the one restaurant.

Mick Kennedy revealed that initially he was happy just opening the one chicken shop. Credit: Glasgo Podcast

Kennedy added: “That’s where the concept came, it was never meant to be what it’s become to be honest with you.

“We said at the outset if we can get one store that does reasonably well then, we’d be happy. I can remember when we first opened our store on Duke Street.

“The first couple of days it was doing well, it was steady, we thought ‘If we can keep this up, we’ve got a wee business here’, then I think it was day six or seven, everything was just pandemonium.”

The clip was shared on social media earlier this week by the podcast with the caption: “Great chat with the co-owner of Black Rooster Mick Kennedy.”

The video received over 10,000 likes with hundreds of comments from fans of the chicken shop chain.

One said: “Amazes me that people actually think Nando’s is better than Black Rooster. No contest.”

Another added: “We f**ing love a wee Black Rooster.”

A third replied: “Black Rooster is top drawer, man.”

Another stated: “Black Rooster is superior.”

The chain serves a variety of chicken-based meals including wraps and burgers, with most meals costing an average of £8.50.


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