Fried chicken chain named 'America's best' makes Tenderloin debut

Krispy Krunchy Chicken from the chain's Bayview location. | Photo: Stephanie G./Yelp

Fried chicken fanatics, be advised: cult chicken chain Krispy Krunchy Chicken has opened a new Tenderloin outpost, in a rare standalone storefront near the corner of Eddy and Leavenworth streets.

Founded in Louisiana in 1989 as a way to increase revenue at the owner's convenience store, Krispy Krunchy's usual territory is convenience stores and gas stations. (Its other SF locations are inside a gas station at 17th and South Van Ness streets in the Mission and a "Super Save" convenience store at 3rd Street and La Salle Avenue in Bayview.)

But that hasn't prevented the chain from developing a loyal following among foodies.

In 2017, lifestyle site Thrillist named KKC "America's Best Fried Chicken Chain," describing its chicken as "the most underrated item in fast food today."

The chain's chicken also earned plaudits from SF Weekly food writer Ryan Basso, who dubbed it "some of the tastiest fried chicken in San Francisco" in a "Go Eat This Now" piece published last June.
Photo: Carrie Sisto/Hoodline

Despite KKC's unusual environs, its business model appears to have worked. According to its website, KKC has expanded to more than 2,300 independent operations in 41 states over the last two decades, as well as locations in Malaysia and American Samoa.

Unlike many franchise businesses, KKC provides business operators with a license to use its menu, programs, and graphics, without charging any royalty fees. The business is intended to provide fresh, hot food options in spaces that otherwise may not offer them.

The new location at 393 Eddy St. fills a space that has been vacant for more than two years, since Tender Loving Food moved out in December 2016. It's open from noon-10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, extending until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
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