From a waiter to CEO of Texas Chicken
In a rare cooking demonstration, Mr Jim Hyatt, 60, stepped into the kitchen yesterday to make Texas Fried Chicken's signature dish and biscuit.
The chief executive officer was in town to officiate the opening of the franchise's 500th international restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa.
Mr Hyatt, who is also the global president of the fast food company, worked his way up through all levels of operations in his 35 years in the business.
He started at 16, working part-time at Burger King, when he was a college student.
WINNER: Madam Sharon Lim with her son Yoong Zhi Qian and daughter Yoong Yan Yi. Madam Lim was one of the contest winners. TNP PHOTO: ISKANDAR ROSSALI
He then worked his way up to manager, franchisee and corporate officer before he was asked to run the Texas Chicken brand in 2011.
A year earlier, Texas Chicken entered the Singapore market under Mr Vincent Tan, founder and managing director of Select Group.
Since then, the franchise has grown to 12 outlets, with the 13th set to open next week in Centrepoint at Orchard Road.
It was a coincidence that the 500th international outlet was opened here, said Mr Hyatt.
He told The New Paper: "It happened on its own, but if I were to plan it, Vincent would be the right person to execute it. He has been a great leader in expanding our presence in the Asian market."
Since it was founded 64 years ago in San Antonio, Texas Chicken (known as Church's Chicken in North America) has grown into an international brand, with about 1,200 outlets in the US and another 500 overseas.
Texas Chicken in Singapore prides itself in serving the most delicious fried chicken - supplied from Malaysia - and honey butter biscuits, he said.
Mr Hyatt added: "We like to do palettes and local profiles, which vary from country to country.
"In Singapore, we have the garlic and herb flavour this month, along with the signature original and spicy flavours."
Civil servant Tiew Qin Jian, 35, who returned to Singapore in March after living in the US for two years, had no idea that Church's Chicken existed here.
"I came to know about it only after seeing the Texas Chicken logo and realised that it's the same company as Church's Chicken," he said.
"I like the chicken here better. I think it's more suited to my taste - it's a little spicier."
Mr Tiew was one of the 20 winners of a Facebook contest who received a pair of invites to the opening.
The winners also received $120 worth of Texas Chicken vouchers each.
Another winner, housewife Sharon Lim, 43, who turned up with her four-year-old son Yoong Zhi Qian and 10-year-old daughter Yoong Yan Yi, said she likes to take her children there for meals.
She said: "The chicken is not as salty as compared to other places. It's a good treat for my kids who enjoy eating fast food."
We like to do palettes and local profiles, which vary from country to country. In Singapore, we have the garlic and herb flavour this month, along with the signature original and spicy flavours.
- Texas Chicken CEO Jim Hyatt