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11th Jul 2024

US chicken shop with dish so spicy it comes with a waiver opening 60 UK sites

Ryan Price

Could you handle the Reaper?

A Hollywood chicken chain with a dish so hot that it requires a waiver to be signed is coming to the UK.

Dave’s Hot Chicken has expanded to have 199 sites across the US since its launch in 2017. Founded by three childhood friends in an East Hollywood car park, the fast food chain has amassed a huge social media following with 2.4 million followers on TikTok and 1.2 million followers on Instagram.

The company shot to fame for its unique business strategy. It offers seven levels of spice ranging from No Spice to Reaper, which requires a signed waiver from guests.

Another significant component of Dave’s Hot Chicken’s strategy is its focus on quality ingredients and authenticity.

They source their chicken from local farms and use a secret blend of spices to create their signature hot chicken.

Dave’s Hot Chicken also has investment from celebrities including Drake, Samuel L. Jackson and Usher.

@daveshotchicken How hot can you go 🌶️🌶️🌶️ #daveshotchicken #spicychickensandwich #spicytenders #fyp #sanantoniotx #satxfoodie ♬ original sound – Dave’s Hot Chicken

Azzurri Group, which operates Zizzi, ASK Italian, Coco di Mama and Irish fast-casual Mexican brand Boojum, has now signed an agreement with Dave’s Hot Chicken to open 60 sites across the UK.

The first is planned to open in London early next year and will give chicken lovers the chance to try the signature blend of spiced-to-order chicken.

Steve Holmes, CEO of Azzurri Group, said: “When we first tried Dave’s Hot Chicken we were blown away as it makes some of the most craveable and delicious food we’ve ever had. We’re excited to bring this incredible brand to the UK and to be their partner in this ambitious roll-out.”

Since 2019, sold the rights to more than 700 franchise locations in the US, Middle East and Canada and plans to open more than 90 locations this year.

Dave’s isn’t the only American chicken brand to eye a permanent base in the British Isles. Chick-fil-A is also planning to open its first permanent U.K. store next year. Popeyes entered the U.K. in 2021 and reached the 50-store milestone earlier this year.

Expect to see your social media to be filled with people taking on the Reaper challenge next year.

@daveshotchicken @Wayne Dang throwing down the challenge #davesvscanes #whoworeitbetter #spicychickensandwich #daveshotchickenreview #daveshotchicken #davesfries #davessauce #fyp ♬ original sound – Dave’s Hot Chicken