Best Frickin Chicken in Town
June 11th, 2014 by Gwen Green
“I was going to do whatever it took to move my mobile food truck business into a brick-and-mortar store this year,” says Clayton Scott, co-owner of Fayetteville’s Best Frickin Chicken in Town. “We believed in our product, we had a vision, and we were tenacious.”
The April 2014 grand opening of Frickin Chicken’s permanent location in the Dickson Street dining and entertainment district culminated a long and interesting journey for co-owners Clayton Scott and Jeannette Beltram. The pair began serving their signature chicken in Fayetteville in 2013 from a truck. They also operated a mobile cart on Dickson Street on weekend nights for the past year.
“The mobile food vendor permit issue with the City of Fayetteville was a constant worry for us in that there was such a short permit time, and then you had to renew again and again, not knowing if you could stay in business or not, ” said Scott.
Scott worked for the passage of a city ordinance to allow mobile food truck vendors to park on private as well as public property and to lengthen the permit time. Following the Fayetteville City Council’s passage of such a measure in March, the creation of a food truck courtyard on Dickson Street was announced.
Now that Frickin Chicken has a permanent home, Scott plans to use the truck for catering and special events. The new eatery seats 40 customers inside and boasts a large outdoor patio as well.
Frickin Chicken serves bone-in fried chicken and a variety of side items. Scott reports that the chicken and waffle meals, the fresh-cut fries called “Scott’s Tots,” Mama J’s ham hocks and beans, and fried okra are customer favorites. “Our chicken is best known for its savory breading and its juicy meat that our frying technique seals in. We spent a lot of time developing and testing our breading’s seasoning recipe. People just love it and rave about the flavor,” he said.
The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center’s Larry Brian began working with Scott in 2012. Brian, center director and business consultant at the ASBTDC located in the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, guided Frickin Chicken’s co-owners all the way through starting their food truck and opening the brick-and-mortar restaurant.
“Larry actually was my chief counsel and go-to guy for all my financial decisions,” Scott says. “We worked on my business structure, all my cost analysis of goods, food, overhead, and profit margins. Larry was there for me with one-on-one meetings, by email, on the phone, or for me to just meet with him any time. He walked me through this whole process, and I am very grateful.”
In addition to helping Scott and Beltram with market research, business planning and securing a bank loan, ASBTDC also advised the business about its online marketing.
Best Frickin Chicken in Town is located in the Metro District Building at 509 W. Spring St., Fayetteville, directly across from the Walton Arts Center parking lot. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday, with extended hours Thursday through Saturday. Learn more at bestfrickinchicken.com.