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The Secret Sauce at Hot Chicken Takeover: Its Unique Workforce

The fast-growing restaurant chain’s equal employment policy has proved people often passed over because of incarceration, drug addiction, or homelessness can build a devoted workforce.

Bloomberg business news
Unique Workforce Gives Restaurant Competitive Edge

Kevin Fisher had only one place in mind for his first meal as a free man: Hot Chicken Takeover. Upon his release from prison in January 2019, Fisher ordered boneless chicken, mac and cheese, and coleslaw at the chain’s location in a downtown market in Columbus, Ohio. But it was the company’s mission, not just its menu, that drew him.

Fisher became acquainted with Hot Chicken Takeover a few years earlier when founder Joe DeLoss spoke to inmates about his company hiring people who’d previously been incarcerated through its equal employment policy. The message was compelling, and the fried chicken DeLoss gave out was delicious, Fisher says. “All a person wants when they get out is a chance to live life.”