Cook-Out restaurant chain expands to Chattanooga


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Signs are posted Tuesday, August 4, 2015 at the new Cook Out location on Route 153.

About Cook Out

‘Founded: 1989 in Greensboro, North Carolina
‘ Headquarter: Thomasville, North Carolina
” Key people: Morris Reaves (owner), Jeremy Reaves (CEO)
” Locations: Over 100 drive-thru services in Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, including two planned in Chattanooga and one open in Rome, Georgia.
“Concept: Fast food, double drive-thru restaurants as well as restaurants with dining rooms and patios.
‘Menu: Starters include grilled burgers, hot dogs, Carolina barbecue, chicken, BLTs, and quesadillas.

Local fans of the North Carolina-based Cook Out restaurant chain finally have something to celebrate: Chattanooga is getting two Cook Out restaurants in the coming months.

One is located at 5390 Highway 153, where Verizon Wireless was previously located, and is expected to open to the public within the next four weeks.

The other is located at 5001 E. Brainerd Rd., And is expected to open within the next nine weeks.

Both sites are currently recruiting.

In fact, said Alex Coppaken, Cook Out’s chattanooga district manager, Cook Out hopes to hire 100 new employees to staff both restaurants over the next three weeks.

Last week, Coppaken accepted applications under a red pop-up tent outside the new store on Highway 153. He said Chattanooga had been on Cook Out’s radar for at least a year and a half.

The closest Cook Out to downtown Chattanooga is currently in Rome, Georgia, 54 miles away.

The Cook Out model is slightly different from most quick service restaurants. Customers are presented with a menu with over 30 food items that can be purchased individually or mixed together.

Cook Out offers “Cook Out Tray” combinations, comprising several main items (such as a barbecue sandwich or hot dogs), several side items (such as fries, onion rings or coleslaw) and several drink options, sold together.

Coppaken said in its simplest terms, Cook Out offers “fresh, grilled food”, cooked and presented in an outdoor style, just like you might eat in a restaurant.

“It’s kind of our thing,” he said.

And while many Cook Out locations offer Lexington-style barbecue, Coppaken said many Tennessee stores offer pulled pork barbecue instead. Cook Out is also known for its hand-spun milkshakes.

The Highway 153 and East Brainerd Road stores are hiring approximately 50 new employees, for all positions. The store on Highway 153 accepts requests on site from Monday to Wednesday.

The East Brainerd Road store accepts inquiries on site on Mondays and Thursdays.

Previous experience in quick service is preferred, but not required.

Coppaken said many Cook Out employees earn more in the restaurant industry than others – in part, he said, because there is no limit on hours.

“You can work 70 hours a week,” he said. “We can pay about the same, but you can make a lot more money with us. “

Cook Out also offers health benefits to its full-time employees.

Coppaken said Cook Out generally avoids large openings.

“We just opened one day,” he said.

The company hopes to open eight to 10 stores in the Greater Chattanooga area – including northeastern Alabama, northwestern Georgia, and southeastern Tennessee – over the next three years.

Contact editor Alex Green at [email protected] or 423-757-6480.


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