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Cowboy Chicken expanding Smackbird ghost kitchen concept

Cowboy Chicken expanding Smackbird ghost kitchen conceptPhoto: iStock

Cowboy Chicken, a real wood-fired rotisserie chicken fast casual concept, is expanding Smackbird, a delivery and pick-up-only ghost kitchen specializing in Nashville hot chicken tenders and sandwiches, according to a company press release.

Launched in November 2020 to increase sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, Smackbird will roll out in additional locations this month.

"We will plan a controlled rollout within the Cowboy Chicken system in select markets with approved franchisees and most corporate stores," Sean Kennedy, president of Cowboy Chicken, said in the release.

Cowboy Chicken hopes to maximize kitchen efficiency with the virtual brand. Guests can continue to order Smackbird online from Dallas and Fort Worth Cowboy Chicken restaurants and Smackbird operations will be added to two more Cowboy Chicken locations in Texas in July.

"Adding Smackbird allowed us to take advantage of the extra kitchen capacity that COVID-19 caused, increase sales and keep our staff at select stores fully employed during a challenging time," Kennedy said in the release.

Cowboy Chicken offers a fried version of fresh, all-natural and hormone-free birds in six different heat levels ranging from NoSmack to HellSmack.

"We are experts in serving tasty, freshly prepared chicken and it seemed natural to expand into the Nashville Hot style category. We always want to be the guest's first choice for chicken," Kennedy said in the release. "The Smackbird menu appeals to a younger and more adventurous demographic and is helping us attract new patrons."

Cowboy Chicken was founded in Dallas in 1981 and has been named one of Fast Casual's Top 100 Movers and Shakers.

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