Our manifesto: Double Chicken Please
Building a brand identity, changing hiring policies and a focus on merchandise are all part of the New York City bar’s manifesto. The team at Double Chicken Please show us behind the curtain of its approach to business
Now more than ever, bars are becoming more vocal and visible when it comes to the hows and whys of running their businesses. Beyond the drinks they serve their guests, things like branding, team education and their merchandise and design are all important topics for consideration if you want to be a bastion of modern bar businesses.
One bar that does just that is New York City’s Double Chicken Please. Opened in 2020, the Lower East Side bar has garnered considerable accolades and industry reputation in a remarkably short amount of time. How have they done it? Co-owners GN Chan and Faye Chen, and head of brand and marketing Tako Chang, give us the Double Chicken Please manifesto.
First up, what is brand identity? Well, it’s everything that the establishment wants the brand to be seen as. Defining a brand identity is key to delivering a consistent and cohesive experience for your guests. The core brand identity of Double Chicken Please revolves around two key principles – design and team. At Double Chicken Please, our brand identity encompasses the features, attributes, benefits, performance, quality, service, support and the values that the brand possesses. We view our brand as a product, a personality, and a position that occupies people’s minds.
Defining your identity doesn’t mean it is something static. We believe that while keeping our core identity is essential, adapting to environment and culture are also crucial.
So, how do we do this? Our aim is to impress the brand image on our guests by focusing on every single aspect of the guest experience through all of their senses. From the service aspect, we design a system in which each staff member undergoes training to seamlessly transition between various positions, ensuring consistent delivery of high-quality service. For instance, a bartender might be tending the bar on Tuesday and serving as a server on Wednesday. We approach our training with utmost seriousness, considering it as the fundamental pillar of the Double Chicken Please brand. Conducting weekly bar training, front of house meetings, service mock-up training, and cocktail R&D sessions serves the dual purpose of ensuring consistent service quality and fostering overall teamwork enhancement.
Defining your identity, though, doesn’t mean it is something that remains static. We strongly believe that while keeping our core identity is essential, adapting to environment and culture are also crucial. Why? Because growth requires change.
Hiring and teambuilding
In the realm of hospitality, there are two notable aspects derived from Asia that we bring to New York City and implement at Double Chicken Please. In Asia, the F&B hospitality industry typically operates with full-time positions across various roles. Whether it’s the general manager, (FOH) bar manager, bartenders, servers, (BOH) kitchen team, marketing/PR, or administrators, all positions involved in running a bar or restaurant are considered full-time positions. In complete contrast, it’s pretty common in NYC for individuals to hold multiple jobs at different venues. This means that it’s typical for someone to work at several establishments rather than being exclusively employed by a single one in the hospitality industry.
You know the saying ‘the devil is in the details’? We apply this principle to every single aspect of our operations.
Our hiring policy focuses on recruiting full-time employees to foster a strong team culture and facilitate continuous training, investment, and growth. We think this is really important as it ensures that our team members are actively involved in the day-to-day operations, working together to cultivate a cohesive team culture. Throughout our careers, we’ve also been consistently taught that being detail-oriented is of paramount importance in internal service training. We place a big emphasis on cultivating a team that is consistently detail-oriented. You know the saying ‘the devil is in the details’? We apply this principle to every single aspect of our operations, including daily tasks, bar preparation, bartending, service execution, hosting and managing guest experiences and expectations.
Passion beyond everything
It goes without saying that we’re passionate about our work, but it’s important to point out the three things that we are the most passionate about. Firstly, the F&B experience and products: we place serious emphasis on regular service and bar training. It is essential for our team members to be well-trained in providing exceptional service and equipped with troubleshooting skills.
Second, original event curation and cross-industry collaboration: we also take pride in creating original events that highlight our in-house design expertise. We showcase our creativity through interior design and ambience, and create unique, creatively designed cocktails that offer a multi-sensory experience for the guests. This focus not only allows us to showcase our brand’s identity but also provide an opportunity to collaborate with other talents from different industries to expand the network and build new commercial connections.
Our latest addition to the Double Chicken Please Original Series, ‘Mindcluck 2’, involved a collaboration with the renowned Blue Man Group. This collaboration exemplifies the brand’s commitment to pushing boundaries, actively exploring potentials, and seizing opportunities. From the perspective of marketing and social planning, as well as PR, our product and service style present a fresh opportunity for F&B collaboration, showcasing a new realm of possibilities.
It is essential for our team members to be well-trained in providing exceptional service and equipped with troubleshooting skills.
And thirdly, brand development and merchandising: Double Chicken Please positions the brand as a ‘design studio’ that goes beyond designing our products, hospitality, service and events. Our approach includes treating our merchandise as another avenue for creative expression and design. Every piece of merchandise offers a platform to tell a story about our brand, from the design of the merchandise itself to how it is presented and integrated into our overall brand narrative. By curating and designing our merchandise, we communicate the essence of the brand and engage our audiences on a deeper level. We see the merchandise as an extension of our storytelling, allowing us to create a cohesive and immersive experience for our guests.