A Love Letter To Kickin’ Chicken

A Love Letter To Kickin’ Chicken

To my favorite college town restaurant.
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Kickin' Chicken is a locally owned and operated restaurant in South Carolina. They have five locations in the Lowcountry and they've been operating since 1997. The Kickin' Chicken experience is casual, fun and affordable dining.

There is nothing like the Kickin' Nuggets — I always choose fried over grilled and it's the best, in my opinion, then tossed in hot buffalo or any of the many beautiful sauces with fries with a side of ranch dressing of course. And don't get me started on the Bobby Fries or ~ oh my ~ the Bobby Tots! Also, I won't forget the many other greats like the Buffalo Chicken Dip, Fried Mac and Cheese and ALL of the Kickin' burgers and sandwiches. I love South Carolina and Kickin’ Chicken so much.

I’m not sure if it’s the atmosphere of the sports bar feel that makes Kickin’ remind me of home or the smell of fried food that brings me back to my late night Cookout run days or fried food at a local fair — either way, Kickin’ is the best and I wouldn’t change a single thing about it.

The prices are perfect for the college budget, they’re open late, they deliver and they have a loyalty program. It doesn’t get better than a night out then Kickin’ with your homies. There will never be a time in my life that someone will say, “Wanna get Kickin’?” and my answer will be no.

Can I spare 10 dollars for a one hundred percent joyful experience? The answer is yes.

Can I imagine a life without Kickin’ Chicken ranch dressing? The answer is absolutely not.

They’ve been open since 1997, they’re local and have multiple locations in the Charleston area, so if you’re not a fan — goodbye. If you’re not from here or you’ve never been to Kickin’ Chicken you’re truly missing an all American, family friendly and college kid approved experience.

There is no greater joy than treating yourself to Kickin’ after a long week of essays, exams and ballin’ on a budget — my love for this chicken joint was a gradual one, but now I do not know where my College of Charleston experience would be without eight Kickin’ nuggets, fries and a double side of ranch.

Thank you to the beautiful owners of Kickin’ Chicken for making my college life a pleasant and casual one. My love for Kickin’ Chicken and the city of Charleston live on.

Cover Image Credit: Lindsey Ocock

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I'm The Customer That Doesn't Always Tip 20 Percent

I can be your best friend or your worst nightmare, but it depends on YOU.
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As a server, I fully understand that myself, and others like me, make a living off of our tips.

I know how nice it is to get a $50 tip and how frustrating it is to get merely change when you did everything you could to make the unpleasable table happy. I am well aware that an acceptable tip is anywhere from 15-20% and I typically tip way over that.
However, I can easily say that there have been times where I have tipped anywhere from 5-15%. In these times, the tip was well deserved...or not deserved.

As before mentioned, I am a server, bartender, and part-time restaurant manager. It is safe to say that I know the business quite well. This makes me aware of the tipping process and what is deemed acceptable, but it also makes me aware of what a serving job entails. We are, without a doubt, the worst critics when we are out to eat. We noticed everything you did or didn't do and we timed how long it took to get our drinks -- it's just in our blood.

We also notice if you are genuinely good at your job, or if you are just there to be there.

The key point to any serving job is knowledge. I, as a customer, expect you to be able to answer almost all of my questions. If I ask you something absurd like "exactly where was your lettuce grown?" ....Like what the f****? Who knows that? But when I ask what beers you have on draft, or what all comes on a salad, I expect you to know it. If you don't, I dock it off your tip. No, it's not mean, it's you not holding up your end of the deal when you started this job.

I know that sometimes you get busy and it's hard to cater to someone's every need, but I do expect my refills in a timely manner and would also expect you to check back with me shortly after I get my food to make sure everything tastes good. I feel like that all is just common sense. If I have to wait for five minutes with an empty glass before I even have the chance to call you over, that's going to affect your tip. If you never check up on me after I get my food, guess what, I take it off your tip. If something goes wrong in the kitchen or you forgot to put my order in, do not avoid me. Tell me. I know how hard it is to tell a table that you are the one who screwed up their experience, but it is so much better to be honest and shows more about your integrity than by saying, "I don't know, the kitchen lost your ticket. There was a computer malfunction and then things caught fire. The firemen had to come and put it out, and then they found your ticket under the smoldering embers...so that's why your steak is five minutes late.".... Just tell me you got busy and it slipped your mind. I'm okay with that.

The worst one to me is when I see my server on her phone. I know that today's generation has some need to be in contact with everyone 24/7 and I have learned to accept that. But when I need something at my table, and you fail to notice because your girl friend just broke up with her boyfriend who cheated on her with his supposed best friend...I'm not going to be happy. You are here to work and this is your job. And, not to be conceded, but I come first. I am the one paying the bill that allows you to keep that phone your on in service, so make sure that I am happy before Samantha can't call you the next time shit hits the fan with Andrew. It's common sense.

Despite all of these, probably the number one thing I look for in a server is a positive attitude. We all have our own lives outside of work, and not to be cold, but I don't really care about yours. I am here for a nice dinner and a night out to not worry about my own crazy life let alone wonder about yours. As soon as you walk into work, the outside world needs to stay there. Do not be in a terrible mood because your girlfriend is psycho. Do not show the customer that you simply don't want to be at work. You don't want to be -- I don't tip you. Easy as that. If you engage in even a small conversation with me, I will tip you more than expected. I am extremely easy to please and really understanding.

I know that every place is different and every store/restaurant has different standards, but I the guest-service industry all lies on the same guidelines. The number one rule is to make the guest happy. I am not that guest who asks for the world from my server. Nor am I that guest who doesn't tip my server if my food came out overcooked or doesn't taste good. I know what lies on the server and what lies in other areas of the store. I know what they can and can't control.
As a customer, I can be your best or your worst, but that all lies on the service that I receive from YOU.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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Pho Fixes Everything

A bowl a pho keeps everything bad away.

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Pho might just be the best thing my taste buds have ever endured. If you haven't had pho, you're missing out. It's a Vietnamese soup, but it's not just any soup; it's the soup to my heart.

And no, this is not like ramen. It makes ramen look like random noodles in a bowl of water….yeah I know that's basically what it is, but you get the point.

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Best part, there are so many options for pho. If you're vegetarian, no worries, there's pho for you. If you don't like spice, no worries! There's pho for you! If you love different kinds of meats… THERE'S PHO FOR YOU.

Please, everyone, just go get a bowl of pho and be happy. Doesn't matter if it's 100 degrees out or -13, pho is still amazing. You won't regret it.

Not going to lie, I'm craving it just from typing this.

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