VERSAILLES — Poultry Days chicken sales are off to a fast start in Versailles with over 170 coolers sold. Each year the board works to improve the festival, including how chicken is served. The festival moved to prepackaged components, reworked lines, offered bulk cooler sales, and moved to online bulk sales. This year Versailles plans to offer More Chicken, Faster! Here are the changes.
More chicken. Despite challenges a large supply of fresh, never frozen chicken has been secured. Chicken that is consistent in both size and quality. In 2019 29,000 halves were served and we expect to order 35,000 halves for this year. If more is sold before May, we will work to purchase additional chicken.
Separate bulk line. Bulk coolers have become so popular a separate pick-up line for bulk chicken purchases has been established. Instead of waiting in the main line all bulk coolers will be picked up at the High School at 280 Marker Road. This will make pick up fast and also speed up the traditional dinner line. The traditional line will remain on the festival grounds.
More supplies. Chicken and supply prices have been rising and supplies are sometimes difficult to locate. Enough coolers have been purchased to serve over 11,000 halves in via bulk sales. If more orders are placed before May, Chairman Pepple is going to fight to purchase more coolers.
More people. Two board members took on special roles for 2021. Kyle Slack will be running all Bulk Pick Up and Delivery. With the help of volunteers, Kyle will be in charge of taking orders, assembling bulk orders, and managing pick-up and delivery. With the help of the Heritage Park Board, we are proud to deliver bulk chicken within 25 miles of Versailles again this year. Tony Rose has also joined the board and put his years of production experience to work. With spreadsheets and study, Tony has determined how many cookers are needed and when they need to start cooking. And the answer is More and Earlier!
More cookers. In 2019 the festival had 6 cookers on Friday, 7 on Saturday and 6 on Friday. Each of these beautiful silver machines can pump out 220 halves every two hours. Even with this hardware we have been exhausting our chefs. For 2021 we will have 8 cookers on Friday, 9 on Saturday and 8 on Sunday. And those cookers will fire up earlier to have chicken hot and ready.
Faster service. If it appears all the attention has been on bulk sales it hasn’t. The Walk Up and Drive Thru lines for traditional “single” dinners serve up to 2,500 dinners per hour. While these lines have always moved fast, we want you to enjoy more time with your friends and family and less time in line. For 2021, board member Brad Koopman and his crew will add a fifth assembly crew at peak times. With the fifth crew our capacity will increase to well over 3,000 dinners per hour.
Delivery with sides. Last year many businesses and groups who had coolers of chicken delivered also wanted sides. For 2021, Friday deliveries can be purchased with or without sides. An instant lunch buffet for businesses or large groups.
Faster response to questions. A specific email account has been established for all chicken related questions. From traditional single dinners, to bulk, to delivery. Just email VPDChickenLine@gmail.com.
Now is the time to purchases your own cooler of chicken at VersaillesPoultryDays.com. All bulk cooler purchases must be online and in advance of the festival. Traditional single dinners will be sold in both a Walk Thru and Drive Thru line on June 11, 12 and 13th.
Whether you choose to visit Versailles or have chicken delivered, the board wants it to be an excellent experience. The board takes pride in both the quality and volume of chicken served. Versailles plans to break the chicken sales record again this year and to do with shorter lines.
Poultry Days was established in 1952 and has been delivering summer fun for 70 years. For general questions email PoultryDaysChairmen@gmail.com, visit VersaillesPoultryDays.com or follow us on Facebook.