Parkdean Resorts & Thunderbird Fried Chicken cook up tasty new deal

Parkdean Resorts, the UK’s largest holiday park operator, has partnered with premium fried chicken provider, Thunderbird Fried Chicken to bring its award-winning chicken to holiday park guests this year.

The agreement, which is the first of its kind for Thunderbird, will see an initial two sites open at Parkdean Resorts’ parks in Camber Sands, in Sussex, and Trecco Bay, in South Wales, this June. The plan is then to roll out the offer across additional parks over the coming year.

The concepts will trade under the Thunderbird Fried Chicken name, offering a menu of classic Thunderbird dishes, including their WingFest winning Chipuffalo Wings, their classic Thunderbun burger and strips and dips by the bucketload, all cooked to the exact specification that has seen the business quickly gain a cult following and grow to six sites.

Under the agreement, Parkdean Resorts will oversee the full management of the sites, but it will be a collaborative process with all employees undergoing a full Thunderbird induction at its London sites, so that they can truly embed themself in the ethos of Thunderbird.

Paul Gilchrist, CEO of Thunderbird, said, “We’re excited to be expanding the Thunderbird business through this franchise, with the opportunity to open Thunderbird sites outside of London for the first time. In Parkdean Resorts, we’ve found a partner that fundamentally gets what we’re about as a business and I have complete faith in their systems and people to meet and deliver the stringent quality control standards we set for Thunderbird.”

The companies chose to collaborate due to the synergy around their people, with Thunderbird particularly impressed by Parkdean Resorts teams’ attention to detail, passion and focus on providing outstanding experiences for guests.

Steve Richards, Chief Executive, Parkdean Resorts, said, “This move represents the wider intent across the business to continually improve the quality of our food and beverage offer, giving our guests an unrivalled choice and experience when they visit us.

'Thunderbird is a young, exciting brand that has perfected an outstanding product which we’re absolutely certain will be a hit with our guests. Our people are the driving force behind the business and our point of difference, in Thunderbird we’ve found a company with true synergies in this area and I’m excited to see where this agreement takes us.”

Parkdean Resorts is the UK’s largest operator of caravan, lodge, cabin, glamping and camping holiday resorts, and was named Best UK Family Holiday Company, and Best UK Holiday Parks and Lodges Company at the British Travel Awards 2020, the UK’s biggest opinion poll for travel and tourism in the country.

The company recently announced a £70m investment in its business nationwide, to install new accommodation, renovate facilities and upgrade existing caravans and lodges.

Camber Sands and Trecco Bay are two of Parkdean’s ‘Parks of the Future’, with investment in the parks to provide everything from new luxury accommodation options to exciting activities, including high ropes and virtual reality zones, and facility upgrades, such as new swimming pools, pop-up food stands, and outdoor dining spaces.

Street-food born, Thunderbird Fried Chicken, founded by Matt Harris and led by Paul Gilchrist, has been backed by private equity firm Trispan since January 2019 and have bricks and mortar sites across London including their newest restaurant at Earls Court. As well as more Parkdean Resort sites, Thunderbird have a number of new openings lined up in London for the rest of 2021.