South coast fried chicken outfit Bok Shop eyes big expansion after £1.2m investment

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You might think that London is oversaturated as far as fried chicken is concerned, but no: the Brighton-born chain Bok Shop is planning an expansion of more than 10 sites after securing £1.2 million of funding from a private equity backer. Apparently people think there are legs in chicken drumsticks yet.

The brand serves chicken burgers, wings, and tenders, and – perhaps crucially – vegan options, as well as fries and drinks. There are classic sauces such as buffalo and satay for dipping.

Bok Shop was founded by four friends on the south coast in 2017 and a second site was launched in Croydon, south London, soon after, as well as a third in Eastbourne, where a 90-cover venue also features retro arcade machines.

Like many fast casual set ups, Bok Shop has performed well in lockdown, with delivery key to cash flow. Such success has bred confidence and a new 100-cover restaurant is scheduled to open in Southampton in the summer.

Co-founder Jamie O’Mara told trade magazines that Bok Shop was looking to follow the mould of restaurant groups such as Honest Burgers and Pizza Pilgrims.

He said: “We never in our wildest dreams thought that we would be sharing what we created at our little shop in Brighton with the rest of the UK.

“It’s been a hard slog filled with failures and success, amplified by the pandemic, but all in the name of growth, both as individuals and as a company.”

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