WINTER PARK, Fla. – Food Network star Guy Fieri made a stop at his Winter Park restaurant Chicken Guy! on Wednesday, announcing a big expansion of the business’s footprint.
The mayor of Flavortown had several pieces of business to attend to while making his visit.
“I live in Northern California, I also have a house in West Palm Beach — So, I’m going to be spending a lot more time in Florida,” Fieri said. “This (Winter Park location) is the beginning of the growth. We wanted to make sure that we had this thing dialed in and really know all the ins and outs of what we’re doing and how we’re doing it to make sure that what we’re going to give people on a national level was going to be outstanding. But we have 80 franchises that are already ready to go. It’s going to go loud and fast.”
Chicken Guy! opened its first location in Disney Springs in 2018. Fieri did not say where or when the new locations would be opening. The chain currently has eight locations in seven states and 80 additional locations would be a significant expansion.
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The Winter Park location opened a little more than a year ago. It was the first franchise to include a drive-thru window. Chicken Guy! sits among a string of chicken restaurants along a stretch of Orlando Avenue, which is affectionately called the Chicken Strip by some.
Fieri said he is happy to have the competition.
“I think all competition is good,” he said. “This is a chef-driven, handmade scratch-made real deal fried chicken and I do not have anything bad to say about anybody else. You know what, there’s room for everybody to play.”
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Fieri also debuted a new menu item, a huckleberry milkshake topped with cinnamon cereal, and spent some time talking with his fans. The celebrity chef even started delivering orders at the drive-thru window at one point.
He also made some time to speak with members of the Winter Park Fire Department, providing them with a free meal and thanking them for their service.
Fieri also promised a return to Florida in the near future.
“Even a cloudy day in Florida is an awesome day,” he said. “I will be in Florida way more than you know.”