TKO Chicken and Ribs is an established, local neighborhood-oriented restaurant that first opened in 2013 by David Hertz and his wife. Hertz’s experience as a stagehand inspired him to pursue his love for cooking. As a result, he opened the first TKO Chicken and Ribs in Marine Park, Brooklyn. They carry an extensive menu filled with comfort food such as chicken, ribs, mashed potatoes and corn that are all made to order. TKO Chicken and Ribs prides itself on family and community and they are hoping to expand in the next 5 years.
St. John's University
The idea for the restaurant, TKO, was actually started by a good friend of the owner. According to David, “He didn’t have the patience to see the idea through, and I saw that. I saw it as a really good concept, really good idea, something that I thought was going to do really well. I took it over from a good friend of mine and followed it through.” TKO has been ran by David and his wife ever since. TKO has a few shirt designs and pictures on their Facebook that resemble an American Flag. In addition, the side of the building has been painted with a huge flag. When asked what did the flag represent, David replied “The flag on the side of the building one represents my love for this country...It was also painted by a good friend of mine.” The friend has painted numerous murals after 9/11.
David took the place over and got the building on a Friday. Everything was taken out and placed on the sidewalk in order to paint, polish, shine, and rearrange. With help from his wife, son, and friend’s kids, TKO was open for business on Monday; David considers the beginning a memorable moment.
Growing up in Marine Park, Hertz cites it as a city filled with “great, hard-working people.” All in all, he feels his neighborhood needs a good place to eat.
The original idea for TKO Chicken and Ribs came from a good friend of the owner, David Hertz. Hertz felt the idea was important and decided to bring the idea into fruition. Growing up, the owner enjoyed cooking for his friends, family, and himself. In the video he says “When I was a kid, I always loved to cook… It only escalated as a I got older. My real passion was the stagehands, union stagehands. It has nothing to do with cooking whatsoever, but I saw the opportunity for this and it was really something I always wanted to and I took a chance.” Thus the idea of opening his own restaurant and cooking for his extended family, his community, was a sure fit. The owner is quoted as saying “We wanted to be a real local spot… Come in here after school, see a lot of neighborhood kids hanging out and parents come in later to pick up food for the family. We were looking to have a neighborhood spot where you could serve good, fresh food.”
TKO Chicken and Ribs prides itself in being one of the only made-to-order restaurants in its respective area. From an array of foods including fried chicken, roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, ribs, and creamed spinach, TKO brings the feeling of a home-cooked meal to customers every night. It is these qualities that makes their restaurant unique to Marine Park, Brooklyn. Hertz says “I don’t know of many restaurants like this in our neighborhood. There is no else in this area that is serving the type of comfort food… the most important thing we’re doing here is we’re cooking food to order.”
TKO is able to carry out its daily duties by hiring an extensive staff. Dave Hertz and his wife have employed a staff of 5 delivery guys, 12 waiters/waitresses, and 4 chefs in the back. Having such a large staff for a family owned restaurant is another example of Dave Hertz’s commitment to the neighborhood as it opens up job opportunities to others while hiring relatable staff from the area. This illustrates how TKO works toward achieving the 8th UN Global goal of promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. Everyone contributes to the success of the restaurant which allows it to be a family staple in its community.
By providing fresh made-to-order food on the menu, TKO differentiates itself from other competing restaurants in the area. They have a diverse age group of customers ranging from high-schoolers hanging out after school to parents that are buying dinner for their family. They are seen as a more genuine comfort food option than the local fast food options available. We can see this by the way David interacts with various people who walk into the restaurant throughout the interview; the interactions seem very personal.
The short-term effect of TKO is that children and adults in the area alike prioritize made-to-order food and refrain from fast food staples such as McDonald’s or Burger King. As a result, their ideals promote the goal of the UN to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. Prioritizing fresh ingredients will do wonders for the overall health of an individual and in the long-term, open the doors for similar restaurants to populate the area. More restaurants like TKO will help fulfill another UN goal by promoting healthy lives and well-being for all at all ages.
Business is going well for TKO. To benefit the business, the community and past customers can continue to eat, support, and recommend. In the words of Dave, “Eat local, shop local, support local.” In five years from now, Dave wants to have more than one location; with everyone’s support this is possible. As Dave continues to sponsor local events, he will begin to gain traction in his community and gain further support and income to expand.
Dave Hertz has grown up in the community around TKO as well as raised two of his own children within the community. Dave and his wife love to give back to the community and support every cause that is in their community. Dave went on to list a few causes that they support, “sports, the church, the school club parties, any kind of fundraisers...community fairs.” Dave and his wife are willing to support any local organizations that may have not been listed such as teams, plays, and other various types of events. Dave tries to give back to the community or invest in anyway he can; as a result, the community supports him and his business. He proceeds to say, “If somebody needs something, come in and see me. We’ll try and do all we can. If you tell me that you are from this community or your group is from this community, we’ll give a little bit. It’s what we do.” With history of being a stagehand, Hertz knows all the elements into what makes a good event a great event and he is willing to put his imprint on it.
Dave Hertz, Owner
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Brooklyn, New York, US
Business Website: https://www.facebook.com/TKO.Chicken
Year Founded: 2013
Number of Employees: 11 to 50
TKO Chicken and Ribs is an established, local neighborhood-oriented restaurant that prides itself on family, community, and cooking food to order.