Chicken chain goes upmarket ... again

CHICKEN Treat has opened another of its café-style stores in an ambitious attempt to rival Dome and Aroma.

The latest Fresh Express store, the third in the chain, will be opened in Subiaco later this month.

But there are bigger plans on the drawing board for the local fast food operator, including a move into the major east coast markets.

Chicken Treat general manager sales and marketing Kevin Leavy said the business was looking to expand geographically, including a new mar-keting presence in Adelaide for the South Australia market.

“I think our objective is to have a national brand but we won’t move further east until we are completely satisfied with South Australia,” he said.

In just 18 months Chicken Treat has opened 10 stores and has plans for another 30 over the next two years.

The Fresh Express stores opened in Perth during the past 12 months are positioned to compete with cafés in the busy shopping precincts of Perth.

The new store on Hay St in Subiaco is a radical departure from the bright white lights and the red and

yellow décor of the traditional

Chicken Treat store, with soft earthy colours, contemporary furnishings and a sealed cement floor a feature.

“Fresh Express is a completely different target and a different brand … essentially a fusion between a contemp-orary café and traditional fast food,” Mr Leavy said.

“Fresh Express is the domain of the high street where as Chicken Treat is a suburban concept.”

Chicken Treat this week withdrew its multi million dollar advertising busi-ness from Marketforce opting to “unbundle” the operation and work with three independent suppliers.

“We have to look at the way we operate and the level of advertising and strategic knowledge in house. We believe we would rather unbundle the whole thing and work with independent suppliers,” Mr Leavy said.

Chicken Treat plans to work with three independent suppliers, including creative hot shop Rival headed up by Vaughan Sutherland and Darcy Campbell.

“I’ve known Vaughan for a very long time and he has a great deal of experience with Chicken Treat so he’s begun work straight away,” Mr Leavy said.

Making the move away from a traditional full service agency, the account is a major loss for the bigger players in the Perth advertising marketplace.

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