Celeb Chef Tiffany Derry’s Roots Chicken Shak Launches Franchise Model

Tiffany Derry is a "Top Chef" alumna who also appeared on "Cutthroat Kitchen" and "Hungry Investors." Her company T2D concepts with Co-Founder Tom Foley calls Roots Chicken Shak "a scalable restaurant concept that creates a great dining experience" while working "to catalyze social justice."

You can think of this innovative franchising model as fried chicken with a purpose.

Dallas-based T2D Concepts, a purpose-driven hospitality group founded by celebrity chef Tiffany Derry and attorney Tom Foley, has launched its model to grow the Roots Chicken Shak concept while creating economic opportunity.

Derry is a “Top Chef” alumna who also appeared on “Cutthroat Kitchen” and “Hungry Investors.” T2D Concepts operates two Roots Chicken Shak locations in Plano and Austin, with a third location planned to open in DeSoto.

With an efficient footprint, streamlined menu centered around Derry’s duck fat-fried chicken, and elimination of food waste, the company said that Roots presents “a scalable restaurant concept that creates a great dining experience” while working “to catalyze social justice.”

“Our mission at T2D Concepts is to practice hospitality with purpose: deliver great experiences for our guests and great opportunities for our people and partners,” Foley said in a statement. “We designed this model with the intention to shift the franchise system and provide pathways for marginalized community members to operate their own business.”

Not your typical franchise model

T2D said that what differentiates its franchise model from others is the criteria of potential franchise owner-operators.

The company said it believes the success of a franchisee is not necessarily tied to their financial strength. Instead, the company looks for individuals who embrace its core values: the passion to deliver “legendary hospitality” and a commitment to excellence.

T2D said the secondary factor is that a potential operator possesses a baseline level of restaurant operations experience. That allows qualified individuals who may be undercapitalized, both currently and historically, to join T2D as owner-operators or multi-unit developers, T2D said.

The company said that while recognizing the reality of restaurant development and the need for capital, its solution is created to clear financial hurdles by leveraging strategic relationships with funding partners, municipalities, and companies aligned with the group’s mission.

Offering opportunity and resources ‘to build a better life’

“As a black female, I understand and empathize with the challenges of breaking into and becoming successful in the hospitality industry,” Derry said in a statement. “That’s why this endeavor is so important—to be able to provide under-resourced individuals the opportunity and resources to build a better life for not only themselves, but also the communities they live in.”

T2D Concepts is the hospitality group behind Roots Chicken Shak, Roots Southern Table, Radici, and ‘Shef Tiffany, a spice and apparel line.

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