Hi all, well that was quite a summer! Cannot recall such a prolonged period of high temperatures and clear blue skies, either side of a very enjoyable World Cup in Russia. The two and a half weeks of televised football saw lots of our big sharing buckets fly out and the hot weather certainly drove demand for our delicious chicken salads and the cooling, pimped up thick shakes.
As we head into autumn and it’s back to school and work for us all, we are taking the opportunity to bring some new and exciting changes to our menu. Our latest burger is the Happy Chilli Cheese and it’s a spicy affair as the name would suggest! We have taken one of our huge buttermilk fried, free range chicken breasts, added Mexicana cheese, liberal quantities of our Hot Cluck Up sauce, fresh red and green chillies all on a bed of iceberg and some house mayo. The Happy Chilli Cheese is a real big eat and perfect with some House fries or a salad and a pint of our ice cold Moretti. Give it a try and let us know what you think of it. [can we insert a picture/thumbnail of it here? ]
Our development chefs are hard at work on a number of other new burgers and sides, so watch out for more delicious additions to the HB menu in the coming weeks. There will also be a new drinks menu – Sam, our Manager, assures me that it was hard work conducting extensive research on the new range of alcoholic drinks….not so sure myself! Again, we have endeavoured to match the new drinks with our food, to provide the perfect accompaniment and to strive to offer you both popular drinks brands as well as some new products/brands that you may not have come across.
We look forward to welcoming the students back to Bristol in a couple of weeks, although I note the hard working medics are back already! We will be present at the Bristol University Freshers Fair on 28 September to formally welcome the new students to our city and to tell them all about HB and why we are the best chicken in Bristol. There will be plenty of fun and games and free chicken on the day, so if you are attending, do come and say hello.
It was interesting recently to see McDonalds and others come under more pressure both nationally and internationally to do something to improve the living conditions of their chickens. In the UK, very few restaurant groups use free range product or even Red Tractor chicken. In fact, 95% of all of the animals raised for meat in the UK are zero welfare, factory farmed chickens that have short and miserable lives. That Is a terrible statistic. The RSPCA and other international animal welfare groups have devised a set of Better Chicken Commitment standards that they are asking the food industry and big restaurant chains in particular to follow. The standards and their aims are laudable but sadly the restaurant chains are either not committing to adopt the new standards at all or putting it off for many years. I find this totally abhorrent and unacceptable. Happy Bird is built on the bedrock of an ethical supply chain and the highest standards of animal welfare, that is non-negotiable for us.
That’s why from the outset we wanted and found a farmer who shares our values and only rears his birds in a free to roam environment, does not pump the birds full of antibiotics etc and grows them for twice as long as regular chickens. We think more and more of you want to make informed choices about what you eat and how it has been raised. We call it “eating clean”.
However, eating clean is not easy. Even buying “Free Range” from supermarkets is not a guarantee of better animal welfare. Many so-called “Free Range” birds still never actually venture outside and are bred in high densities in very large sheds so their welfare standards and quality of life are not what you might think. There really needs to be a uniform definition and set of standards for what free range means. The food industry in this country should do a lot more to embrace better welfare standards and not just continue to kick the can down the road…..
Anyway, I will get off my soap-box and get back to the menu development work that I have to finish. I hope you continue to enjoy Happy Bird and all it stands for. Do keep an eye out for our new menu items and let me know what you think of them!