It all started in Hahnville, Louisiana in 2005. Mike Nabut Sr., a self proclaimed master in the kitchen with more than 10 years experience of perfecting his culinary skills with convenience in mind, conceived the idea of offering freshly cooked, quality fried chicken at a time when nothing else was available in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Nabut reasoned that the no one in southeast Louisiana should have to settle for any kind of food despite Katrina’s wrath. He knew that even the food service industry would have to change its approach in order to capitalize on the opportunities created by population growth and increased mobility. By cutting the frills common to the convenient store industry philosophy of the time, Nabut felt he could deliver his product profitably at low cost with a more efficient use of capital and employees.
The first Birdies Food & Fuel was located in Hahnville just a few steps from the parish courthouse and government building. Only a week removed from Hurricane Katrina, the restaurant sold only fried chicken. Commuting back and forth to Morgan City because of his commitment to his wife who was delivering their second child, Nabut braved the hot Louisiana sun to come up with more ideas to satisfy his customers. Without electricity, Nabut managed to find a generator to cook delicious flavorful chicken. Shortly thereafter, Nabut added French fries, jalapeños and meat pies to the menu three weeks later. Probably the most unmentioned point of it all is that Nabut stayed committed to giving the residents of St. Charles parish the lowest priced gas when so many others were doing the exact opposite.
Nabut’s persistence paid off. Not wanting Birdies Food & Fuel to become a fly by night convenience store, Nabut stayed on point with his customers building relationships with each and every one. Nabut was not only giving free water and food, he was asking, “What more could I do for you?” Within three years, Birdies had grown to five convenient stores with the most delicious foods and cheapest gas. By this time, members of his family became active in the business, and by 2010 the chain had grown to eight store locations in southeast Louisiana including Slidell.
Now with dad Ray Nabut and brother YoYo Nabut on board, Birdies Food & Fuel became a family business like no other. Recognizing themselves as the “trio”, Mr. Ray provided a sensical yet proactive approach, while Yoyo provided the economic viability of a low-overhead food outlet serving take-out food at a modest price. Birdies was and still is a small business that is big on potential.
The “trio” created a full proof method of success. They consist of three components:
-Customer satisfaction is the number one priority.
-Sell high quality products at a low cost.
-Giving back to strengthen one’s own community.
The “trio” stuck to the essential basics, and since 2011 concentrated on rapid but tightly controlled expansion limited to Southeast Louisiana. By 2012, the “trio” had perfected a marinating formula for the company’s growth. With simple methods for success, Birdies Food & Fuel could be re-created successfully almost anywhere no matter the circumstances. As to the recipe for Birdies famous fried chicken, that formula remains a closely guarded secret. Sorry everyone!
Birdies Food & Fuel is a highly recognized and respected brand name in southeast Louisiana. It is now one of the fastest growing largest quick-service chicken concepts in the south. Birdies serves freshly prepared, high quality, flavorful chicken and tenders with classic sides and hand-made meat pies. Birdies differentiates from its competitors in care and attention given in preparation of food, and is positioned as the value leader in the convenience store industry. Yet, we are not finished. As long as good hardworking people continue to love what we do, nothing will stop us from doing it even better.