Steal This Idea: Gather Data on Consumer Wants Via Ghost Kitchen

Choice Market discovers most popular chicken sandwiches
Choice Market chicken sandwich
Photo courtesy of Choice Market

DENVER Choice Marketa four-store, Denver-based chain blending upscale grocery, convenience-store concepts and Amazon Gois entering the chicken sandwich wars with no shortage of planning and research.

Rather than guess what chicken sandwiches Denverites would like best, when Choice Market started developing its menu, it launched a temporary ghost kitchen, The Chicken Kitchen, to test consumer response to 10 sandwiches.

“We’re always experimenting,” said founder and CEO Mike Fogarty. “Choice’s head of culinary is also very attuned to customer preferences and staying on top of trends.”

The ghost kitchen revealed the top bird would be the Classic Chicken Sandwich with free-range chicken, pickles, mayo and Gotham Greens bibb lettuce on a Harvest Moon potato bun, despite the flavorful allure of the now-menued Korean Crispy Chicken Sandwich, with free-range chicken, fennel-carrot slaw, Sriracha mayo and Korean barbecue sauce on a potato bun.

"Customer preferences evolve. The burger used to be No. 1, and now it seems the fried chicken sandwich is No. 1 in America, with many fast casual and QSRs introducing chicken sandwiches."

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