The battle of chains vs. local restaurants is so intense that it's easy to forget that there are actually local chains. A Wall Street Journal article points out that Jamaican fast food chain Golden Krust is the largest locally owned chain in the city (who knew?) with 70 locations here and another 50 on the East Coast. But, that title isn't enough for the family that owns it.
President and chief executive Lowell Hawthorne, who says he has dozens of family members working in the business, wants Golden Krust to be the next Chipotle. "By 2020, all Americans will have heard of Jamaican patties," he says. The patties make up 80 percent of the restaurants $100 million annual revenue. The family's large Bronx-based factory is already turning out 190,000 a day, which means about 45 million a year. Hawthorn hopes to attract a new audience with soy and veggie patties and whole wheat options, plus sleeker more modern shops. But, when it comes down to it, he says: "We’re betting on the patty."