Rotisserie chicken is ready-to-eat chicken that is cooked on a rotisserie by using direct heat in which the chicken is placed next to a heat source. The heat source can be hot coals, electric or gas.
In South Africa the most commonly available rotisserie chicken is in some major supermarkets. But today I want to look at a different business model: single owner entrepreneur, with maybe one helper that is renting space in a busy sales channel. This sales channel can be anyplace where the chicken can be consumed but even as a take away. The other option is to operate a ghost restaurant and sell via an app but rotisserie chicken is unproven in this format in South Africa. I’m not saying it won’t work for supper orders but it will likely be lower in the pecking order after pizza and burgers especially with younger consumers.
The rotisserie chicken business
This is a pretty straightforward business: whole raw chickens are purchased, spiced and cooked on a rotisserie, sometimes selling with sides such as salads or rolls. So you need your supply of raw chickens but you also need a rotisserie machine. Now by its nature rotisserie machines does not take up a lot of space nor does it produce a lot of smoke. This means there are a few places it can be put and the floor space required will be minimal (yes, you will need some kind of kitchen to prepare it).
To make rotisserie chicken is not hard just don’t under or overcook it, the hard part in this business model is finding the right space. You want a place that already has foot traffic. Initial thoughts are something like a venue setting or pub, but you could even partner with a store to sell rotisserie chicken. Another option is to offer it as a delivery service whether during the day to offices or at night for supper time.
The question is what type of rotisserie to get and how many chickens will you be able to sell in a day? This will be an important metric to determine.
Another thing to look at is can you make it tastier, my main gripe with rotisserie chicken – even from Woolworths is that it is bland. There has to be something in between a supermarket rotisserie and the hatchlings that Nandos sell for R164.