Dave’s Hot Chicken Announces Jim Bitticks as Chief Operations Officer
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Dave’s Hot Chicken Announces Jim Bitticks as Chief Operations Officer

Fan-Favorite Hot Chicken Concept Heats Up Executive Team with Top Talent Hire

August 18, 2020 // Franchising.com // LOS ANGELES - Dave’s Hot Chicken, the Los Angeles-based street food sensation turned breakthrough fast-casual brand, announced today the appointment of Jim Bitticks as Chief Operations Officer. His hire is one of multiple this year, including Vice President of Franchise Development Shannon Swenson, which is part of a massive franchising initiative for the brand. Swenson joined the team in late 2019 and has been an integral part of spearheading the brand’s impressive growth in recent months.

“Leaders like Jim are exactly who we need during this exciting time of growth for Dave’s Hot Chicken, and we’re eager to see how he’ll enhance our restaurant operations,” said Bill Phelps, CEO of Dave’s Hot Chicken. “The pandemic has challenged us to try new things and rethink processes moving forward. Jim is joining the new team at a crucial time for several reasons and we’re excited to have him and his decades of experience.”

As the new COO of Dave’s Hot Chicken, Bitticks is responsible for opening new locations and enhancing restaurant operations, including the recent emphasis on online ordering and curbside pick-up. He will play an instrumental role as the brand launches drive-thru locations. Bitticks will also serve as an additional resource for franchise partners and play a key role in systemwide strategies, policies and programs.

“I know Bill well, and have been following his launch with Dave’s Hot Chicken. I must say, I’m very impressed with what the team has accomplished in a rather short amount of time,” said Bitticks. “I can’t wait to take over the reins for operations and join them on this journey. Dave’s Hot Chicken gives off a palpable energy, and I’m excited to help grow a cool new brand.”

Bitticks brings more than 20 years of franchise operations experience to Dave’s Hot Chicken. Prior to joining the team, he served as Chief Restaurant Officer at Blaze Pizza for the last eight years where he helped grow the concept from two locations to over 350, as well as in a similar capacity with CKE Restaurants, Inc. before that.

Founded by classically-trained chef Dave Kopushyan and three friends in early 2017, Dave’s Hot Chicken initially opened as a parking lot pop-up, with lines quickly wrapping around the block. Since then, the brand has exploded in popularity and now has multiple brick-and-mortar locations open in Southern California. Today, the fast-casual brand has its sights set on growing throughout the United States and currently has more than 200 units committed in less than nine months of announcing the franchise initiative.

Specializing in hot chicken tenders and sliders, with spice levels ranging from “No Spice” to “Reaper,” each restaurant also serves sides of house-made Kale Slaw, creamy Mac & Cheese and crispy Fries or Cheese Fries.

Dave’s Hot Chicken offers a robust business model, including national and local marketing support, proven systems, manuals and operating procedures, as well as assistance with site selection. As the brand expands, it is seeking qualified, experienced and passionate restaurant operators and franchise groups to develop the concept in key markets.

About Dave’s Hot Chicken

Chef Dave Kopushyan and three friends opened the first Dave’s Hot Chicken as a parking lot pop-up in early 2017. A self-described “spice freak,” Kopushyan fell in love with the flavor profile of Nashville Hot Chicken and wanted to bring that experience to Los Angeles natives. Dave’s Hot Chicken quickly took off, opening its first brick-and-mortar restaurant in East Hollywood. Now, backed by Bill Phelps, co-founder of Wetzel’s Pretzels and one of the original investors in Blaze Pizza, Dave’s Hot Chicken is focused on bringing its crave-able tenders and sliders to communities throughout the country. Additional brand investors include former California First Lady Maria Shriver, movie producer John Davis, Red Sox owner Tom Werner, actor Samuel L. Jackson, and Good Morning America anchor and retired NFL player Michael Strahan.

SOURCE Dave’s Hot Chicken

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