If you believe that an individual restaurant can change the fabric of a city’s lunch scene, Chicken and Rice Guys is one of those restaurants. With the lines that stretch around the block outside its 85 Bedford Street location and its booming catering business, Chicken and Rice Guys is a clear favorite of downtown Boston’s office workers.
In just a few short years, the C&RG operation has seen huge growth, from the unmistakable yellow food trucks that dot the city to their flagship location downtown. We asked Jimmy Lau, Senior Catering Manager at Chicken and Rice Guys, and the rest of the C&RG Catering team to tell us a bit about what has made the fast-casual chain such a hit.
Q: How did you first get started with catering?
A: We wanted to be able to provide a different lunch option to the corporate market. Different from the usual sandwiches or pizza. Some of our fans started requesting our food at events, which catalyzed the beginning of our catering department.
Q: What makes food and the restaurant industry in Boston unique?
A: Boston is a very dynamic city that is constantly growing in every field, whether it’s tech or food. Since more people are willing to be more adventurous with their food options, it’s reflected in the city by not only the increasing number of food trucks hitting the streets every year, but the increasing amount of restaurants popping up as well.
Q: What’s your favorite dish at your restaurant?
A: We call it the “Jimmy” Special. It is a heaping handful of lettuce with a sprinkle of rice, add on a scoop of freshly grilled halal chicken, crispy bits of savory lamb gyro, a scoop of our marinated cucumber and tomato salad and last but not least the sauces. My sauce formula consists of Creamy Garlic sauce on every section of the plate with a drizzle of BBQ sauce, and Extra Spicy to bring on that heat.
Q: What do you predict for the future of Boston’s restaurant industry?
A: Considering that Boston is a city that is constantly developing, whether it’s the Seaport area or even the Downtown area, I think that the food scene will be constantly developing as well. The city’s recently seen a surge of interest in all areas of food: whether it’s craft beers, craft cocktails, farm-to-table food, and more. So I’m excited to see what innovative new ideas the future of Boston’s restaurant industry brings.
Q: What makes your food unique?
A: It’s simple, fast, and delicious, but more than that I think it’s the culture around our company that has people coming back for more. The food is good, yes, but it’s our workers and the bond we have with our customers that keep them coming back for more, I’d like to think.
Hear how other Boston caterers have grown their catering business at our ezChats Boston event.