Mr Chicken finally arrives in Somerset
The long wait is over, Mr Chicken in Sandys has finally hatched.
Owners David and Beryl Furbert held a grand opening for Mr Chicken at 23 Somerset Road, on Thursday.
The fast food eatery is their fifth Mr Chicken, and possibly their last.
“This one will be it for me,” Mr Furbert said. “There was too much frustration involved. There was hang-up after hang-up.”
He didn't want to go into detail, but blamed ‘bureaucracy' for the four-month opening delay. The building, which had been closed up for nine years, went through extensive renovations. When Mr Chicken bought it, the place was completely empty.
“We had to bring in everything,” Mr Furbert said.
In the meantime, the people of Sandys asked and asked and asked some more when the restaurant would open.
But Mr Furbert thinks the wait was probably worth it.
“Somerset will probably be the best of our restaurants,” he said. “It's very attractive.”
Customers can take out, or eat in; there's room to seat 40.
The Furberts already have restaurants in Devonshire, the City of Hamilton and Southampton, and opened a location in St George in March 2017.
Asked why he had opted for a restaurant in Somerset, Mr Furbert said: “Why not Somerset? It is our building, and we are just making use of it.”
The Furberts opened their first Mr Chicken in Hamilton on December 5, 1985.
“In the beginning, it was just trial and error,” Mr Furbert said. “We had to make it work. That is it.” He said it was through pure hard work that they made the business a success.
Mr Chicken has its own recipe for chicken.
“We just have what the people like,” he said. “You can't please everyone. Fortunately, for us we have a lot of faithful customers.”
Now, the couple are largely retired and leave the day-to-day running of Mr Chicken to managers.
But for the Sandys opening, Mr Furbert took an active role.
“We have been taking a hands-on approach to this opening, because I am the only one who has the expertise and who knows what needs to be done,” he said.
Over the years he said the biggest challenge has been finding good staff.
“We've had a lot of people come and go,” he said, “but we've also had a lot of people who have been here for many years, so it's a mixture.”
If there has been a rise in health consciousness and eating healthily during the time Mr Chicken has been open, the Furberts haven't felt it much.
“We're not in this type of business,” Mr Furbert said. “The people who want to eat healthy find something else to eat, although we do offer vegetarian salads.”
Before the opening Mr Furbert said he was expecting a big crowd.
“You get a rush for a number of weeks then it levels off,” he said.