Nashville, Tenn.-based SPB Hospitality — formerly known as Craftworks Holdings — on Tuesday announced the launch of a new delivery and takeout-only concept called Twisted Tenders that will be offered virtually out of the group’s existing restaurant kitchens.
The Twisted Tenders brand will be available across 33 states and prepared in 175 of SPB Hospitality’s full-service restaurant kitchens, which include Logan’s Roadhouse, Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, Rock Bottom Brewery, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant and ChopHouse.
Jim Mazany, SPB Hospitality’s CEO, said the move was a direct reaction to COVID.
“During this trying time for the industry, restaurant brands have had to get creative to thrive beyond challenges,” said Mazany, in a statement. “Twisted Tenders is an innovative and incredibly tasty way for our brands to generate additional revenue, especially in areas where dining rooms have capacity restrictions or are closed. With a delivery-only concept, we’re able to continue to serve guests across the nation regardless of their city’s mandates.”
SPB Hospitality saw dramatic declines in year-over-year sales during COVID as the casual-dining segment was hit hard by dine-in restrictions across the country.
The launch of a virtual concept follows in the footsteps of other casual-dining groups that have made the move, including Bloomin’, Applebee’s and Brinker International. All three also launched virtual chicken concepts.
When Mazany was named CEO in September, he told Nation’s Restaurant News that the chains under SPB’s ownership would continue to trim bloated menus and focus on delivery, which grew 200% for the group during the pandemic.
Both a streamlined menu and a focus on to-go are the main pillars of Twisted Tenders.
The menu was created by Chef Tim Griffin, SPB Hospitality’s director of culinary, and is centered around chicken tenders that have been soaked in buttermilk for 24 hours — a recipe Griffin modified from the tenders available at SPB Hospitality’s Denver restaurant Chophouse.
The chicken tender options are Crafted Tenders or Nashville Hot Tenders in either three, six, 10 or 20 pieces with the choice of 15 sauces: Twisted Ranch, This is Q’d Up, Smoked & Toked Buffalo, Crazy Rich Asian, Son of a B!, Pep in yo Step Parmesan Peppercorn, Big Al, Free Range Ranch, Blue Cheese, El Cilantro Lime Ranch, Voodoo, Tickled Pickle Ranch, Honey Trap Mustard, Twisted Sauce or Dr. Assburn.
Bone-in or boneless wings are also available with a choice of This is Q’d (barbecue sauce), Buffalo, Honey Trap Mustard and Birthday Suit (no sauce) for seasoning.
“Twisted Tenders cooks up a variety of crazy good offerings made in-house with the best ingredients,” Mazany said.
And, keeping with 2020’s biggest trend (check out this gallery to see just how big), Twisted Tenders will also have a chicken sandwich in either crispy or Nashville hot. Both come with pickles and house-made ranch sauce.
Sides available include mac n’ cheese and house-made chips along with brownie balls.
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