SoMa Krispy Krunchy Chicken: How One Franchise Owner Tackles the Pandemic

Image: Krispy Krunchy Chicken franchise owner Borhan Homran

You may be familiar with the popular fast-food chain, Krispy Krunchy Chicken (KKC), as there are 2,500 locations across 46 states. Often found in convenience stores and gas stations, San Fran’s dominant franchise owner, Borhan Homran explains how Krispy Krunchy Chicken found him

“One of my uncles in Oregon owned a gas station that had a Krispy Krunchy there…” Homran starts. “We were the first ones to bring them to East Bay…[the one] in Oakland, that one I’ve had for over 8 years.”

Chain restaurant recognition often ends with CEOs and executives, but endless stories begin with their franchise owners. The way Homran’s running his KKC locations would make anyone think it was a family business. Homran’s newest cloud kitchen location, Soma Krispy Krunchy Chicken, landed in San Francisco mid-pandemic on July 15th – and this one’s just the tip of the iceberg.

All Roads Lead Here

Homran’s first San Francisco location opened November 2018 on Eddy Street, called Downtown Krispy Krunchy Chicken. The space was unconducive to the demand a year in, and the location temporarily closed. 

Throughout the pandemic, Homran’s hustled to land a new location, which happens to be up the street from the last one. What was Downtown Krispy Krunchy Chicken will now be called T.L. Kitchen Proudly Serving Krispy Krunchy Chicken, to reopen next week on Eddy Street.

Homran’s sole brick-and-mortar location is Mason Krispy Krunchy Chicken near the Pier. Still, KKC’s supported by its related cloud kitchens. Jingletown in Oakland, Bayview Krispy Krunchy Chicken in the Lower Mission area, and a KKC in San Jose are expected to open in the coming weeks too. Homran’s operations help you understand the true meaning of the phrase, there’s no time like the present. 

Reflecting on his 7 locations and counting, Homran states, “I started [them] from scratch. I was making $200, $300, $400 a day to $2000 a day. It took time to build that.” The first KKC location ever owned by Homran was in Oakland’s long-standing community supermarket, Gazzali’s. “Having that location made me expand to the other [ones],” Homran proclaims. 

Candidly, Homran shares the health issue that fuels his current go-getter mentality. In reference to Downtown Krispy Krunchy Chicken closing, he discloses having “had to do a double lung transplant…in March during the pandemic. I was discharged April 16. After the hospital, I told myself I’m not gonna stop. I’m gonna keep going.”

While most have slowed during these times, Homran continues on full-speed ahead with an obvious and unmatched life force.

Quality Krispy Krunchy Chicken

As a San Francisco native, Homran claims what makes their food different than other places is “the passion. Passion makes everything,” he declares. “Coming from something I went through in life, I was inspired by other people. I wanted to keep the concept going.” Homran owns 7 of the 20 KKC locations in the Bay Area – that’s 35%. Simply, Homran’s the man.

Alongside KKC’s passionate crew, their signature Louisiana Cajun-style recipes keep folks coming back. Homran names their popular dishes: chicken Cajun tenders, red beans, rice, jambalaya, and mac and cheese. 

There’s plenty of chicken to go around; image courtesy of Krispy Krunchy Chicken

Beyond all, Homran highlights their mouth-watering honey buttered biscuits. He emphasizes, “People will order 3 biscuits online and pay more for the delivery than they do the biscuits!” 

If you weren’t sold before now, Homran inserts that KKC’s also Halal. He advises that “a lot of people have a concept that chicken is Halal…but will add an item [that’s not].” He ensures, “I don’t serve anything pork…” or the other non-Halal additives. 

Additionally, Homran hopes folks know that the chicken’s marinated fresh, never frozen. He wants people to feel as if they’re eating Louisiana-style home-cooked food.

The Cloud Kitchen Advantage

While many perceive cloud kitchens to be a “plan B” for brick-and-mortar shops, they’re becoming more popular, especially now. Homran poses that in some restaurants, “you see chicken on display and it’s heated…” In alignment with keeping things as fresh as possible, Homran backs that “Everything’s made to order in cloud kitchens. Our reviews go higher…people love the food.” 

Since KKC is a chain, Homran can use their big brand marketing while focusing on execution in the cloud kitchens. He reiterates, “When we make [the chicken], we make it with passion. We want [people] to get the freshest…we want it to be the hottest.” Homran’s word choice—fresh-est, hott-est—proves his desire to be the absolute best. 

While Homran admits the detriment of losing walk-up customers, he’s expecting to roll with the virtual way going forward. In reference to Mason Krispy Krunchy Chicken at the Fisherman’s Wharf, Homran says, “The pier…we were counting on that…we had tourists…but the pandemic hurt us so we rely online. For the next year or so that’s where everything’s gonna be…” 

As someone who lives and breathes opening restaurants, Homran’s leaning on this cloud kitchen strategy to guide him through the uncertainty.

Krispy Krunchy Chicken Near You

Homran continues navigating San Francisco’s pandemic policies. As a former Uber driver, his experience with Uber Eats inspired his business-owning pursuits in the industry. Now on the other side of third-party delivery services, Homran’s keen on the service fee rates still expected of restaurants. 

“The pandemic policy cut [rates] in half, 30% to 15%. Still, 15% is a lot. Right now everything’s costing more…They slashed costs here but other things go up as a result,” he knows.

Still, Homran’s humility manifests as hope. “After what happened to me, God gave me a second chance in life. I take the risk, I go for it. I set one kitchen up and I move to the next one. I have a good team behind me…good brothers behind my back…pandemic or not. People gotta eat,” Homran professes. 

It’s true. If nothing else, Homran’s door-busting endeavors show that even if you can’t go to KKC in-person, KKC can come to you. Homran’s proving it. Check out San Francisco’s newest Soma Krispy Krunchy Chicken today and the Tenderloin’s newest Krispy Krunchy Chicken kitchen next week for your Louisiana Cajun fix!

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