ORLANDO — Only parents of toddlers are aware of a secret sixth food group: chicken fingers.
These deliciously crispy, lightly fried, breadcrumb-coated, tender strips of chicken can be considered a food group all on its own, what with the massive amount that’s eaten each year by picky North American kids. We currently don’t have any stats on exactly how much is consumed, but we’re guessing somewhere in the range of a gazillion pounds each year.
With this super-accurate figure in mind, Disney is banking on the fact that its newest eatery, headed up by none other than celebrity chef and Food Network host Guy Fieri, will be an instant hit with both parents and kids alike. Called ‘Chicken Guy!’ (yes, the name comes with an exclamation mark) and located at Disney Springs, the new “fast-casual” restaurant will specialize in everything chicken, specifically chicken fingers (or chicken tenders, if you prefer the fancier moniker).
But that’s not what will make parents running to its counter – it’s the fact that almost everything on the menu will be less than US$8.
As parents are all too aware, dining at Disney for anything less than a gazillion dollars (okay, we may be exaggerating) is hard to do. So Chicken Guy!, which is set to open its doors in August, will be a welcome addition to the Disney World experience.
Other selling points? There’ll be 22, yes, 22 different sauces, plus a “sauce slinger” who’ll walk around with a holster full of condiments. In addition to chicken tenders, menu items will include SMC (Super Melty Cheese) Fries, the Mac Daddy Mac ‘n’ Cheese, fried pickles, and soft-serve ice cream topped with Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Apple Jacks cereals.
But it’s the tenders that will most certainly be the go-to item for kids. According to Disney, they’ll be antibiotic-free, pounded by hand, tenderized in a brine of lemon juice, pickle juice and buttermilk before they’re grilled or breaded and deep fried, and will be served on their own, skewered, atop salads or within sandwiches.
As for décor? Look out for the selfie wall featuring a life-size image of Fieri (we wouldn’t expect anything less from the high-energy and ultra-charismatic TV host). And another fun perk? Employees will be instructed to greet customers with Fieri’s signature fist bump.