Kenny Rogers Roasters
|Number of locations||37 (Worldwide) |
|Area served||Malaysia; Philippines; China; Indonesia; Singapore; Bangladesh|
|Website||kennyrogersroasters.com (International); krr.com.my (Malaysia); kennys.com.ph (Philippines)|
Kenny Rogers Roasters is a chicken restaurant that was founded by country musician Kenny Rogers and former Kentucky governor John Y. Brown, Jr., who had also owned Kentucky Fried Chicken from 1964 to 1971. The menu was originally centered on wood-fired rotisserie chicken. After closing all of its U.S. operations, Kenny Rogers Roasters now operates only in Asia.
Kenny Rogers Roasters is a member of Malaysian conglomerate Berjaya Corporation Berhad.
In 1991, Country singer/songwriter Kenny Rogers ventured into the fast-food business and co-founded Kenny Rogers Roasters with former KFC owner John Y. Brown, Jr. By 1995, the menu had expanded to include turkey, ribs, and various side dishes, and the chain had grown to over 350 restaurants, including locations in Canada, the Middle East, and Asia. The establishment became so well known an entire episode of Seinfeld ("The Chicken Roaster") was dedicated to Kramer's love of Kenny Rogers Roasters chicken which started after he and Jerry Seinfeld switched apartments due to a bright red neon light shining through Kramer's window so he couldn't sleep.
Roasters immediately found itself in competition with Boston Chicken (later known as Boston Market) and several smaller roasted chicken chains. Kentucky Fried Chicken also introduced a roasted chicken line of products called Rotisserie Gold to compete with Roasters and Boston Chicken. In December 1992, Clucker's, a smaller player in the roasted chicken market, sued Kenny Rogers Roasters, claiming the chain had copied its recipes and menus. The lawsuit continued until Roasters purchased a majority stake in Cluckers in August 1994. Brown then took Roasters public and expanded it to a chain of more than 1,000 restaurants before selling his interest in the franchise to the Malaysia-based Berjaya Group in 1996.
The company entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 1998 and was bought by Nathan's Famous, Inc. for US$1.25 million (US$2 million in more recent terms) on 1 April 1999; as a result of restructuring, many locations closed. By 2000, the chain was down to 90 franchised restaurants, 40 of those in the United States.
Nathan's Famous divested itself of the chain in 2008, selling it to their Asian franchiser, which is owned by Berjaya Group of Malaysia. The last Kenny Rogers Roasters operating in the United States was located in the Ontario Mills mall in Ontario, California; it closed on December 31, 2011.
The 2008 purchase agreement allowed for Nathan's Famous and Miami Subs to continue selling Kenny Rogers Roasters items in their restaurants. Nathan's continues to serve Kenny Rogers Roasters items in select locations, such as its flagship location on Coney Island, and Miami Subs (since sold off by Nathan's) also has a "Kenny Rogers" section on their menu.
Despite the chain's end in the United States, Kenny Rogers Roasters continues to flourish in Asia, particularly in Malaysia. and the Philippines. Some branches in the Philippines also serve Seattle's Best Coffee products. Kenny Rogers Roasters started operations in Bangladesh in December 2012 with 1 restaurant in Gulshan, Dhaka. The company has signed an agreement to open an outlet at Jamuna Future Park (an upcoming mall), with other outlets on the way.
- "Branches". Philippines: Kenny Rogers Roasters. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
- "Berjaya Group Berhad - Group Structures - Food & Beverages". Berjaya Group. 2009-09-08. Retrieved 2009-11-03.[dead link]
- Stouffer, "A High Stakes Game of Chicken"
- Seline, "Clucker's is First Casualty in Chicken Wars"
- Hutt, "Kenny Rogers Wants to Take Name with Him from Bankrupt Roaster Chain"
- Katherine Hutt (March 28, 1998). "Roasters Lays an Egg, Files for Chapter 11". South Florida Sun-Sentinel (sun-sentinel.com). Retrieved 2010-12-16.
- Frumkin, Paul (March 27, 2000). "Nathan's is red-hot for growth, serves up diversity with new brands". Nation's Restaurant News. New York City: Lebhar-Friedman, Inc. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
- "Nathan's Bid Up For Vote". South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sun-Sentinel.com). January 6, 1999. Retrieved 2010-12-16.
- Kenny Rogers Roasters Purchase Agreement, TechAgreements. Retrieved on 2009-06-29
- Ontario Mills' Big Food gets much, much smaller John Plessel, insidesocal.com, December 31, 2011
- Section 2.13(a) of Kenny Rogers Roasters Purchase Agreement, TechAgreements. Retrieved on 2009-06-29
- Section 2.13(c) of Kenny Rogers Roasters Purchase Agreement, TechAgreements. Retrieved on 2009-06-29
- Dinner at Kenny Rogers Roasters on Coney Island. Fast Food NYC. Retrieved on 2009-06-29.
- Miami Subs Grill Menu via Miami Subs website. Last updated 18 November 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
- "Kenny Rogers ROASTERS Malaysia". krr.com.my. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
- "Kenny Rogers Roasters Philippine". Kennys.com.ph. Retrieved 2010-06-14.
- Kenny Rogers Roasters International
- Kenny Rogers ROASTERS Malaysia
- Kenny Rogers Roasters Philippines