It’s been exactly one year since fast casual franchise Chick N Max welcomed Robert Kabakoff as its culinary director to help elevate the brand’s menu offerings and accelerate its franchise expansion goals. Today, the award-wining chef continues to share his vision and create gourmet flavor profiles that are differentiating Chick N Max in the industry.
“Acquiring top talent is paramount to any franchise’s growth, and we can’t be more pleased with Chef Robert’s contributions thus far,” says Chick N Max founder Max Sheets. “His depth of knowledge and experience, combined with his excitement to create fresh, new, innovative dishes, keeps us on the cutting edge and will no doubt continue to play an important role as we enter a new era of growth for Chick N Max.”
Chef Robert has had an impressive career of culinary invention. He is a graduate and board member of the acclaimed Culinary Institute of America and previously served as the Corporate Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Training for Hillstone Restaurant Group, a privately-held collection of upscale restaurants with 45+ locations in major cities across the country. In 2003, he opened RHK Consulting Group along with restaurants in Bend, Oregon; Chicago, Illinois; Spanish Fort, Alabama; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Washington, D.C.
He’s also the recipient of various awards, including Chef de Cuisine and Phoenix’s Chef of the Year, as well as the National Champion of Hot Food Cooking twice.
Since joining Chick N Max last year Chef Robert’s goal has been to craft delicious and innovative menu options that will push the boundaries in the thriving chicken segment. In the last 12 months, he has revamped the brand’s Smoked Chicken Sandwich line up and completely updated the Classic Smoked Chicken sandwich, moving the sandwich to almost first in the sales mix lineup. He has also created four new sandwiches, built a library of limited time offer sandwiches, added two new sides, and refreshed several menu items and recipes. Finally, he has helped to layout the new unit kitchen for enhanced sales per hour capabilities along with improved speed of service, and improved upon several of Chick N Max’s negotiated supply contracts.
“This is a tremendous opportunity,” says Kabakoff. “Chick N Max is going in the right direction — we are opening new corporate stores, increasing same-store sales, and eyeing the future with great optimism when it comes to franchise expansion. I look forward to continuing to play an important role in that growth.”
Sheets adds, “With all the new and anticipated menu introductions under Chef Robert’s culinary leadership, guests and franchise partners alike can look forward to an incredible experience with Chick N Max.”
The excitement surrounding Chick N Max comes a few months after the Wichita, Kansas-based franchise officially launched its franchise opportunity and plans to expand across the Central and Southeastern United States. With three corporate-owned restaurants already serving throngs of customers throughout Wichita, Chick N Max intends to double its footprint by the end of next year and open as many as five new restaurants each year thereafter. The growth will be primarily achieved through multi-unit franchising and initially target select markets throughout Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and the Southeast United States.