Josh Kopel | Award Winning Restaurant Consultant

The Myth of the Overnight Success: Johnny Ray Zone of Howlin’ Rays

What’s it take to become an overnight success? The short answer is years of dedication and hard work.

Chef Johnny Ray Zone took Nashville hot chicken, an obscure regional dish, and turned it into an international institution. The guy is a hot chicken mogul selling out 1,000’s of sandwiches a day, setting his own rules with the delivery companies and partnering with Post Malone on new promotions.

I looked to him for inspiration when I opened my own fried chicken joint but I did it for money and never achieved the level of success that he has.

Why?

Because it’s his authenticity that has made him a star. Zone walks the walk and, in today’s conversation, he walks me though his path to greatness.

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