Doughbird Pizza & Rotisserie has taken flight as one of the fledgling Fox Restaurant Concepts, and it expects to reach five units in Arizona, Tennessee and Texas by year’s end.
Phoenix-based Fox Restaurant Concepts, a division of Calabasas Hills, Calif.-based The Cheesecake Factory, has modified Doughbird since it first opened in 2017. It has since grown to Tucson, Ariz., and Nashville, Tenn.
Sam Fox, who has created such brands as Culinary Dropout, North Italia, Zinburger, Blanco Cocina + Cantina, and The Henry, said in an interview that his team expects Doughbird to open in Dallas by year’s end, sharing a shopping center footprint with Flower Child.
“We're evolving the brand,” Fox said, “and we're excited about the future.”
Doughbird was created as a neighborhood spot for eclectic combinations like, the Sweet Potato & Brussels Sprout Pizza with melted sweet potato and glazed bacon, or the rotisserie chicken in Thai curry coconut broth. Pizza crusts can be dunked in eight house-made sauces.
“These are foods that everyone enjoys eating all the time,” Fox said. “We've expanded the pizza category from our regular hand-tossed and we've added Detroit-style. We've also added in the chicken category, which was just rotisserie and prime rib. We've also added chicken tenders as well, so we've sort of rounded out the menu.”
The sauces are available for pizza crusts and chicken tenders, he said, adding that the menu is tailored for to-go business as well.
“We do a lot of to-go business,” Fox said. “Lunch and dinner are very important to us, as well as families.” The brand looks for real estate in upscale neighborhoods, he said, similar to what Flower Child seeks.
One change since the first unit in Phoenix is an emphasis on adult beverages.
“We’re expanding the bar,” Fox said. “The bar has been really popular. We've made it a little bit bigger. Our bar was really small, [but] as we went to Nashville and Tucson, we built a bigger bar.” The ideal square footage, he added, is a little larger than the original restaurant, settling toward 5,200-5,800 square feet, with about 180 seats inside and out.
Doughbird relies on a full-service model, which separates it from the counter-order, table-delivery Flower Child.
The concept has also added a few newer menu items, such as a cheeseburger. But the name, Doughbird, remains separated as two words in signage to emphasize the offerings, Fox added.
While pizza and chicken is a basic combination for many families, Fox said the Doughbird difference is the quality level of its offerings.
Pizza combinations at existing locations range from the Aviator, with pepperoni, Italian sausage, bacon, crushed tomatoes and mozzarella, to the Copper Hat, with prosciutto, goat cheese, Medjool date, salted pistachio, and arugula.
Sides for the chicken, which can be ordered rotisserie grilled or fried, include coleslaw, broccolini with lemon and parmesan, and cauliflower polenta.
“I think that we just have a point of difference on the quality and the build out,” Fox said.
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