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Hawaiians, tourists to enjoy BB.Q’s signature K-chicken

The fried chicken chain has opened its first Hawaiian branch in Kuono Marketplace in Honolulu's Kahala neighborhood

By Nov 17, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Customers line up to order chicken at BB.Q Chicken’s Kuono Marketplace branch (Courtesy of Genesis BBQ)
Customers line up to order chicken at BB.Q Chicken’s Kuono Marketplace branch (Courtesy of Genesis BBQ)

BB.Q Chicken has brought its Korean fried chicken to Hawaii, one of the world’s top tropical resort destinations, as it aims to raise its brand awareness among tourists from around the globe and become a major international restaurant franchise.

Genesis BBQ, the South Korean operator of BB.Q Chicken, said on Nov. 16 that it has opened a branch in Kuono Marketplace in Honolulu's Kahala neighborhood where many hotels and beachfront properties are located.

The Kuono Marketplace branch logged an average of $5,000 in daily sales during the pilot operation of about two weeks and a daily record of $6,500 on Nov. 15. Its signature Golden Olive Chicken was the top pick while Secret Spicy Chicken, Golden Original Chicken covered in a sweet and tangy sauce, and Honey Garlic Chicken were also customer favorites.

“I was confident I could succeed if I brought the BBQ chicken that I enjoyed in Korea to Hawaii,” said Yoon Young-il, franchisee and owner of the branch. “Starting from the Kuono Marketplace store, I will quickly open the second and third branches in Hawaii’s key commercial areas.”

Genesis BBQ, the fried chicken chain with the most branches in South Korea, has been aggressively expanding its presence in global markets. It is currently managing branches in 57 countries including the US, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Australia after opening its first overseas store in China in 2003.

The company aims to expand the number of franchises in North America to 250 including about 150 in the US where it is currently operating 76 branches in 15 states including New York, New Jersey and California.

BB.Q Chicken ranked fifth among the 25 fastest-growing restaurant chains in the US last year, according to trade publication Nation’s Restaurant News.

“The recent blockbuster success of Netflix’s Squid Game has increased interest in K-food and we are getting inquiries about opening franchises in North America,” said a Genesis BBQ source. “We will actively increase franchises, especially outlets specializing in delivery and takeout services.”

Write to Jong-Kwan Park at pjk@hankyung.com

Jongwoo Cheon edited this article.

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