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Azzurri to introduce Dave’s Hot Chicken to the UK with plans for 60 locations

The Azzurri Group has signed an agreement with the American chicken brand Dave's Hot Chicken to open 60 locations across the UK, with the first one scheduled to launch in London early next year.

Dave’s Hot Chicken was founded in 2017 by three childhood friends, Dave Kopushyan, Arman Oganesyan, and Tommy Rubenyan, in a carpark in East Hollywood.

The brand is renowned for its spiced-to-order chicken, offering seven levels of spice ranging from No Spice to Reaper, the latter requiring a signed waiver from guests.

Dave’s Hot Chicken became a social media sensation, amassing 2.4 million followers on TikTok and 1.2 million on Instagram. It now boasts 200 restaurants.

In 2019, the company began franchising the brand through a deal with Bill Phelps, co-founder and former chief executive of Wetzel’s Pretzels, along with investments from celebrities such as Drake, Samuel L. Jackson, and Usher.

Since then, it has sold the rights to over 700 franchise locations in the US, Middle East, and Canada, and plans to open more than 90 new locations this year.

Steve Holmes, CEO of Azzurri Group, said: “When we first tried Dave’s Hot Chicken we were blown away as it makes some of the most craveable and delicious food we’ve ever had.

“We’re excited to bring this incredible brand to the UK and to be their partner in this ambitious roll-out.”

Bill Phelps, CEO of Dave’s Hot Chicken added: “We know there is an opportunity to make Dave’s Hot Chicken one of the iconic restaurant brands, and we do that by partnering with incredible operators, like Azzurri Group.

“The flavour of Dave’s Hot Chicken resonates across borders, and we’re looking forward to the first UK store getting open soon.”

Azzurri, the operator of Zizzi, ASK Italian, Coco di Mama, and the Irish fast-casual Mexican brand Boojum, employs nearly 6,000 people and serves over 15 million meals annually across its 230 restaurants and stores.