The Chicken Restaurant Spectrum



Restaurants are a very important part of our lives. While many restaurants have chicken items on their menu (chicken sandwich, chicken nuggets, etc.), my favorite types of eating establishments are the ones solely dedicated to chicken, also known as chicken restaurant chains.

And in this subgenre of restaurants, there is a very large spectrum. Some people like KFC, some like Popeyes, and others like Chick-Fil-A. But beyond these three massive chains, there are many other ones, such as Bojangles, PDQ Chicken, and Church’s Chicken. So I have taken it upon myself to map out the opinions of students and faculty here in Bethpage High School on a chicken chain spectrum. How will KFC stack up? Will Chick-fil-A be a popular choice? Or will Popeyes dominate?

When it comes to chicken restaurants, my personal favorite is PDQ Chicken. This is a relatively new restaurant, founded in 2011, but since then, it has spread rapidly, with 70+ locations located throughout Florida, North Carolina, and one location in New York. I went there once with my grandparents one day, and it instantly became my favorite chicken restaurant. They have many delicious menu items, such as the Honey Butter sandwich and the chicken tenders (that come with amazing sauces such as Buffalo Bleu and Creamy Garlic), but my favorite menu item is, surprisingly, not a chicken product, but their zucchini french fries. They are thin slices of zucchini cut up like french fries, hand breaded and fried in a delicious coating. They melt in your mouth, and were a delicious addition to my meal. Since this visit, I have returned numerous times, and I even tell my family and friends about it. After these experiences,  PDQ Chicken, in my opinion, is one of the stronger, if not strongest, on the chicken chain spectrum.

 However, when we go to the lower end of chicken restaurants, I place KFC there. Unlike PDQ, Kentucky Fried Chicken has been around for a long time, dating back to 1952, and today has over 22,000 location located internationally. While I used to enjoy their food, going in to a restaurant to eat there now is a husk of what it used to be. Before I discuss the food, let me talk about the interior. When I walked in to PDQ, it was very clean and organized, with clean tables and chairs. Whenever I walk into a KFC, however, I see a recurring theme. The tables are always dirty, covered in crumbs, crumpled napkins, and sauce smears. The inside is dirty, with chicken grease coating the floor, and a gross mat near the soda fountain that is swimming in grease, bacteria, and miscellaneou soda. 

But I am not the only person who thinks this. Sophomore James Panchookian said, “Chick-Fil-a is very good; I enjoy their signature sauce.” He also thinks “their chicken tastes fresh.” 

While James  had positive remarks about the chain, he was not so kind to KFC: “The chain] is … generally dirty.” He also commented that Chick-Fil- A has a friendly staff, and that, “…the employees…are very nice.”

Computer aide Mrs. Renneisen shared similar opinions, stating Chick-Fil-A is “..the closest thing to real chicken, with great seasoning.” She also had a distaste for Kentucky Fried Chicken, but did not cite a specific reason. After these reviews, KFC got the short end of the stick, as many people seem to have a distaste for the chain.

But not everybody shares that opinion either.

 Ayden Morales, a junior at BHS, stated that KFC was, in fact, his favorite chicken restaurant. “They have a good delivery service. They have good quality and flavors.”

He also said how he has a distaste for Chick-Fil-A, as they had previously messed up his orders. 

Ayden’s least favorite chicken chain, however, was Planet Wings. “The wing quality was not of good consistency, and sometimes, “…[his meal would be] cold and undercooked.” 

He also noted consistent errors in his order. This stance made me realize that not everyone hates the Colonel and his chicken, and some even enjoy his food. 

My friend, sophomore Taznim Ferdous, enjoys KFC;“[I think that] the flavors are delicious and very enjoyable.” His favorite menu items are the chicken sandwiches. He also enjoys Popeye’s chicken as well “..I love Popeye’s as much as KFC, they both have delicious flavors..” 

After all of these interviews, I came to the conclusion that Chick-Fil-A is generally accepted as the best chicken chain, while KFC, although gaining some positive reviews, is on the lower end, along with Planet Wings. So, with these interviews in mind, this is the official Chicken Chain Spectrum. This is based on interviews I had, as well as my own opinion. 

This spectrum maps out how the people of Bethpage High School feel, as well as some of my opinions. While chicken chains are just a piece of the fast food market, they are still an important piece, and my personal favorite. Enjoy your day, and drink a glass of water.