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For Hot Chicken to really takeover - we need your help.
855 backers pledged $63,401 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$63,401

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Since opening last April, Hot Chicken Takeover (HCT) has grown faster than we ever anticipated. We've met and served over 8,000 people so far and are excited to grow HCT into additional neighborhoods, businesses, AND days of the week. We believe the most efficient way to do this is with a mobile kitchen – allowing us to take the HCT experience anywhere our customers lead us.


Back Story.

In November last year, my wife and I took an adventure to Nashville, Tennessee. Among many things in that town, we instantly fell in love with the tradition and community around hot chicken. The wheels started spinning immediately.

When we returned, we started testing recipes and hosting hot chicken parties at our house. The chicken kept getting better and the group kept getting larger. And somehow – alongside having a new baby – we went from parties to concept dinners to pre-sale events at the Columbus Food Hub in April.


Mission.

Beyond great food, we're passionate about bringing together an eclectic and diverse community of customers. Our guests have come from every pocket of Central Ohio (and beyond) and are met with hospitality, not just from our team, but from one another. We're very excited to extend this HCT community even further. A mobile kitchen will make this happen.

Additionally, our business exists to support a unique employment mission. We rely on strong partners like Community Properties of Ohio and The Columbus Urban League to refer job candidates who are highly motivated to work but have barriers to successful employment - often ranging from less-than-marketable work histories to run-ins with the criminal justice system. Once hired, employees receive significant support, coaching, and investment to support them as they move forward. 

The addition of mobile selling should over double our current volume. This means up to a dozen new job opportunities at HCT - a big increase in sustainable impact through employment. These jobs would be in addition to the jobs already provided in our Olde Towne East location.

And lastly, we make sure no food goes to waste. All inventory that remains at the end of our day heads to Faith Mission shelters.

Half of the team!
Half of the team!


Trailer Design.

After many, many conversations with industry leaders and mentors, we've opted for a trailer versus a food truck for our mobile kitchen. A trailer provides more versatility in design but also eliminates the risk of a failed engine or vehicle mechanicals (i.e. if our truck breaks down, we can always borrow or rent another tow vehicle). We're currently finalizing plans for construction and anticipate a 10-12 week period for completion.

The trailer has been designed to accommodate 4-6 kitchen staff stations and has sufficient capacity to serve 600 people in a 4hr time frame. The estimated budget, with equipment, is 50-70k.

The first draft - drawn two months ago!
The first draft - drawn two months ago!


Have Trailer. Will Travel.

Once complete, we'll immediately use the trailer for unique selling opportunities this winter (we're very close to talking publicly about these!). Beyond that point, we intend on taking our restaurant on the road throughout both Franklin and Delaware counties. HCT will seek opportunities to serve new neighborhoods by setting up shop for 2-4 weeks, expanding the same set-up and dining experience customers have had in Olde Towne East.

The trailer also provides the opportunity to serve special events and businesses. We've dabbled in this space on several occasions but have an inadequate set-up to do it profitably and reliably. We've begun discussions with several large corporate campuses - though they may change their minds when they learn about #HotChickenNaps (we'll file that under 'Risks and Challenges').


Funding Goals.

This Kickstarter is our first push for the big investment anticipated going forward. On top of the trailer, we hope to invest in an additional restaurant set-up (tables, benches, tents, etc), reliable tow vehicle, and upgraded kitchen equipment. The funding goal of 40k is the minimum goal needed for us to move forward but the additional goals bring our anticipated investment closer to 80k.


Gold-on-Black.

We worked hard to imagine worthy rewards for your contributions. One of the coolest is this limited edition HOMAGE t-shirt. 

Limited Edition HOMAGE for HCT: Gold on Black!
Limited Edition HOMAGE for HCT: Gold on Black!

Risks and challenges

We believe in this plan. But we also have enough experience to know that even the best of plans can change.

During this process of going mobile, we'll be managing a whole new slew of variables and challenges - everything from permits to managing our trailer builder to new equipment maintenance and more. These will definitely be growth opportunities for our leadership team and staff. And if our assumptions and plans have gaps, we could definitely incur delays in execution.

An additional risk is that we've underestimated the costs of this plan. We'll continue to rely on great mentors in the industry to check our assumptions and plans moving forward.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Welcome to the Chicken Wall of Fame! Your name, along with every other contributors', will be a piece of a giant HCT Rooster on the new trailer. So every time you visit, you'll be able to show your family and new HCT friends that you've been with us from the beginning.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    On top of your name on the Chicken Wall of Fame, you've just earned yourself a Limited Edition gold-on-black t-shirt made by HOMAGE - the coolest clothing company around. Shirts are sized from XS-3XL. Wearing this shirt to HCT will get you $2 off your meal. Always.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    All of the above made even cooler by a custom HCT headband (also by HOMAGE) and a reusable HCT tumbler. Bring your new swag back to HCT and get an additional $1 off your meal.

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    102 backers
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  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Get it all the swag plus an invite to an HCT party like no other - we'll be unveiling waffles. Yup. HOT CHICKEN AND WAFFLES. And you could be there to try it first. You'll also receive chicken pass good for 5 meals of your choice. Redeemable whenever we're open.

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    Reward no longer available 40 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    NO SWAG. JUST FOOD. Give us $125 and we'll give you a chicken pass good for 15 meals of your choice and 5 puddings. Redeemable whenever we're open.

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  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Double your swag. Double the waffles. Double your chicken pass. You get all of the above for two. HOTTEST. DATE. EVER.

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    Reward no longer available 80 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    HCT-For-a-Year. Everything listed above plus a meal AND pudding every week in 2015. And to top it off, you'll get a handwritten thank you note from Ma (of Ma's Mac, Slaw, and Sweet Tea).

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    8 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,600 or more About $1,600

    Be one of the first to get HCT booked for a private party for 100 of your closest friends, family, or coworkers. Party must happen within Franklin or Delaware counties. We'll also send you a swag pack, waffle party invite, and thank you note from Ma in the meantime.

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    5 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,800 or more About $2,800

    Exactly what you see above, just double the size of the party. That means 200 people - almost a wedding's worth. That's going to be wild.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    You and the unicorn you rode in on can eat as much HCT as you want (so long as its not more than four meals each week). FOREVER. You'll also receive the private party for 100.

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Funding period

- (30 days)