Tuesday, 3rd October, 2017

Business Profile: Fancy Funkin Chicken

This month’s Business Profile is Nathan Pattie, Managing Director of the hugely popular Brixton based, Fancy Funkin Chicken. Beginning his career in hospitality, Nathan landed a part time job as a KP where he quickly progressed to a cold-section chef.

After some time in the kitchen, he took on more responsibilities (front and back of house) showcasing his flair for the hospitality industry along the way - which stood him in good stead for the next chapter. Planning, promoting and hosting parties in some of the city’s most coveted nightclubs.

Drawing from his varied work experiences and cultural influences, from travels he squeezed in between working, this all eventually evolved into the founding of vibrant tapas bar Pix Pintxos.  His first venture, co-founded in 2009 which eventually blossomed into an impressive six restaurants.

If this success wasn’t enough, it is then that the entrepreneur brought a new brand to the UKs food scene, in the guise of Fancy Funkin Chicken.  We catch up with Nathan who lets us know the secret to his success…..

How was Fancy Funkin Chicken born?

A desire, spurred from my unconditional love and appreciation of the humble chicken.  I wanted to elevate a simple pleasure to a gastronomic delight, while also reflecting on London’s thriving food scene.  Sloppy food is a thing of the past.
I was also compelled to further prove that by taking a basic ingredient - once widely considered bland and boring – and to demonstrate its versatility for the refined poultry palette.

What makes your chicken so good?

Our produce and our careful but creative approach. All of our chicken is free range and ethically sourced from a tranquil farm in Norfolk, and prepared with the utmost care so that customers can savour its perfected, succulent taste after every bite, every time.  Whether it be Southern crusted, grilled or ‘funked’ using in-house blended herbs, spices and unique homemade sauces.

What is your secret to keeping customers coming in?

It is no secret that - as with any business - consistency and product are key for attracting and retaining custom. Within the last year especially we have seen a boom in gourmet chicken shops which has tested the basic ‘successful business’ formula.
Fortunately, we have passed with flying colours and come into our own, away from a crowded market. I strongly believe this is down to the dedication of my team and willingness to experiment and channel their creativity through the menu, which often surprises our guests but always satisfies a soft spot for chicken.

What else do you serve? Is there a dish or beverage you recommend?

Although we are primarily a chicken shop, we serve an enticing menu of alternative options including vegetarian dishes, lighter bites and salads such as our roasted beetroot salad with goats cheese, pine nuts and spinach dressed with honey; not to mention our vibrant cocktail list and bar in bountiful supply of beers, wine and bubbles.

I would recommend our most popular Buttermilk Waffle Sandwich, filled with apple and pea shoot slaw, smoked cheese and Southern fried chicken, topped lovingly with maple glazed bacon and best washed down with ‘Red Sky at Night’, an invigorating medley of home infused spiced rum, roasted pineapple syrup, fresh lime and ginger beer.

What are some of the challenges of being a business owner?

Apart from ever-increasing London rents and rates, as well as staying put on the cutting edge. Recruitment is a challenge - albeit a worthwhile one! Where there is so much talent, then comes a greater task of selecting the right person for our team, who can also flourish with the restaurant and inherit a strong work ethic.

What is the company’s proudest moment?

Finally opening our doors to hungry ‘Brixtonites’!  After building delays and labour intensive work days, meeting our neighbours and finding our place in the community rid all pre-opening anxiety; it was certainly moment to exhale and share our excitement for the Fancy Funkin future.

What’s next for Fancy Funkin Chicken?

Fancy Funkin Chicken is a concept that we can take anywhere, and having operated out of Soho for many years I would love to expand and find our next location in central London.

However, we’re still comfortably evolving south of the river, so for the time being all of our efforts will remain on our Brixton restaurant, and looking forward to what 2018 brings.

Biffa