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Pecking Order Stanmore chicken

The Grains Behind Pecking Order

FtL caught up with Vishav Roma and Dhilon Solanki – the duo behind the not-so-usual and recently opened chicken restaurant, Pecking Order (PO), in Stanmore.

FtL: How long did it take you to accomplish your dream of opening PO, and what were the biggest obstacles you’ve faced?

PO: It was approx 6 – 12 months pre-planning before we secured our first site in Stanmore. With any new start up, you are always going to encounter some obstacles – recruiting the right staff, development of our food and drinks menu – where we had to utilise various kitchens to develop our menu, test, trial/error. However, I think we escaped any major incidences.

We have just been nominated for the Restaurant of the Year 2015 Award by the Harrow Times.

FtL: Unfortunately we didn’t get to taste PO’s pièce de résistance this time round, i.e. the grilled chicken, but why did you take the chicken route?

Pecking Order Stanmore chickenPO: As we have all experienced over the last few years, the burger boom has taken off; and having researched consumer and food trends, we quickly began to realise that chicken – free range as well as corn-fed rotisserie/ fried – was becoming popular. Burgers/ Chicken/ Pizzas are the staple of many people’s diet. Knowing the burger boom was almost at saturation point, we felt that chicken would be the next big thing – hence Pecking Order was born!

FtL: How has the response been thus far?

PO: Pecking Order has been opened for 6 months now (3rd October) and the response to date has been great. We have over 105 reviews on Trip Advisor; our social following is increasing; and we have just been nominated for the Restaurant of the Year 2015 Award by the Harrow Times! We also have a large number of returning customers that has created our loyal customer base and will hopefully grow from strength to strength.

FtL: What was the vision and thought behind drawing up such a varied menu, and what type of help, if any, did you draw upon, e.g. professional chefs, etc, for this venture?

PO: To be honest, even though we operate a varied menu, it’s concise. It’s simple, but most importantly, it’s all fresh. Our sauces and marinades are all prepared in our very own kitchen. We had ex-development exec. chefs from The Living Room brand who helped develop, create and implement the menu – individuals I (Dhilon) had worked with previously.

FtL: Do you have any new menu additions in the pipeline that you’d like to share with your customers?

PO: We are always looking to evolve our offering. Since opening, we have already tweaked our menu based on customer feedback (i.e. changing our crinkle cut fries to skinny fries). We also ensure we implement a schedule of Specials on a weekly basis. One area we want to focus on and develop is Breakfast/ Brunch – watch this space!

FtL: What are your short- and long-term goals, e.g. plans to open up another PO, etc?

We felt that chicken would be the next big thing – hence Pecking Order was born!

PO: Our long term goal was always to create a brand that could be replicated in various towns and cities across the UK – perhaps even internationally. Our site in Stanmore has given us a huge learning curve and was always set out to test the concept. Pecking Order Stanmore chicken rotisserieHaving now traded for 6 months, it is evident that we do have a brand that works and potentially could be rolled-out. As well as operational sites, brand extensions such as our table sauces and possibly creating an outdoor proposition (i.e. presence at Festivals) is also on our radar.

FtL: All restaurants have funny anecdotes to tell, do you have any funny or memorable ones?

PO: If I’m honest, I can’t think of any at the moment; but I remember on a few occasions where people came into the restaurant when we opened asking if they could have a Chinese takeaway! They would pronounce Pecking Order as Peking Order – obviously not reading the name correctly.

FtL: Any famous faces come through the door yet, and if so, which ones?

PO: We’ve had a few guys from Only Way is Essex, but nothing to write home about. Hopefully it won’t be too long before the celeb world hear about Pecking Order!

You can read our review of Pecking Order here.

EXCLUSIVE 15% Discount Voucher

Pecking Order have also kindly offered all Feed the Lion readers an exclusive 15% discount off their main food menu between Monday-Thursday all day!

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  • I’m loving these interviews.
    As a budding chef with future plans of opening a place of my own some day, always good to get tips from those who’ve already done it.
    Keep it up.

    9 Oct '15

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