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About us

OUR STORY AND BRAND.

PONKO Chicken is a unique spin on Japanese and Western cuisine –

Where east meets west.
Where Japanese and Western fare converge.
Authentically Japanese. Authentically Western.

Also referred to as Japanese Soul Food, not only are PONKO’s recipes developed straight from the heart, but with the very first bite, it touches the soul.

With every Chicken Tender, Chicken Sandwich, Veggie Burger and more, PONKO’s goal is to serve remarkable Japanese-inspired comfort food and provide an experience that makes guests feel instantly welcome.

Every item on PONKO’s menu is unique, from the Chicken Tenders breaded in crispy, crunchy Panko and prepared using Rice Bran Oil, known for its impressive list of health benefits, to its sweet soy OG Sauce, Japanese-marinated Pickles, Green Beans drizzled with Miso Tahini and Fried Onions, and the Sweet Potato and PONKO fries sprinkled with “Foodie Flakes,” a combination of Japanese Furikake along with other savory spices. Even PONKO’S Grilled Chicken is offered with a choice of Island, Teriyaki, Barbeque or Spicy sauces and the all-beef Hot Dogs are fried and served with PONKO’s signature Slaw on a Potato Bun. Every aspect of PONKO’S menu is deliciously distinctive.

The moment current owner, Dr. Patrick Sallarulo, sampled his first PONKO Chicken Tender, he was hooked. Initially a small, one location establishment, Dr. Sallarulo, a medical professional, not only immediately recognized the quality and health-conscious ingredients that he so enjoyed eating, but as a businessman, he saw PONKO’s remarkable potential.

The famous expression, “he liked it so much he bought the company,” held true for Dr. Patrick Sallarulo and PONKO Chicken. In addition to being a medical professional, Dr. Sallarulo has held offices and chairmanships on boards of over 25 corporations and associations, and he currently sits on the boards of six organizations. As a former cost accountant and controller, a current chief financial officer, and successful businessman in his own right, Dr. Sallarulo brought a wealth of business knowledge and experience to PONKO. In the fall of 2017, the flagship PONKO location in Chamblee, GA opened, and the concept was immediately greeted with an emphatically positive reception and rave reviews.

PONKO Chamblee has surpassed and continues to exceed all expectations. In 2018, Dr. Sallarulo decided to take this unique concept to the masses by offering the opportunity to franchise. The first PONKO Chicken franchise location opened its doors in Midtown, Atlanta in 2019 and soon after franchises were opened throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area. The PONKO buzz is expanding and the next location to open will be the first PONKO drive-thru and will be in Newnan, GA, with several more franchises slated to open over the coming years.

PONKO has become known for its “cravability” factor, with many of their guests enjoying their favorite PONKO dishes 2-3 times a week. Their price points are competitive, and their brand along with their fresh and delicious toppings, sauces and sides appeals to a broad spectrum of visitors. PONKO is a unique product which distinguishes itself from other cuisines and brands. There is not another chicken concept that can be compared to the PONKO experience. Using uniquely healthy Rice Bran Oil to prepare their crispy dishes, which are made in small batches, all from scratch, differentiates PONKO from other fast casual concepts.

Additionally, PONKO’s menu features a variety of Vegetarian and Vegan offerings including crunchy Tofu Tenders, Tofu Tender Sandwiches and hearty Veggie Burgers. This unique PONKO experience has led to their collection of awards and accolades, which include: “Best Selling Taste” at Taste of Atlanta - three years in a row; “Best Fried Chicken in Atlanta” at the ATL CluckFest; “Top Selling Vendor” at Super Bowl Live; and five-category winner, including “Best Fried Chicken,” of Access Atlanta’s Best of Atlanta.

PONKO is accessible to many guests but strikes a chord with the adventuresome. They are not only “foodies,” but people who are looking to be transported by immersive experiences. This naturally draws PONKO toward more urban settings with large numbers of daytime employees from surrounding businesses and evening residents. These are likely to be a somewhat younger group of customers who have lived in more than one place and value new experiences. Ideally, for PONKO, this translates to city center areas in every major city across the nation; areas that have a high daytime business and residential populations. But note, with the success of their flagship store, which is considered a sub-prime location, they have also proven that they can succeed in suburban areas. Their flagship store has helped determine the true potential that PONKO holds.

OUR FOOD

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

RICE BRAN OIL

WHY WE USE RICE BRAN OIL!

We care, so we spare no expense and choose to use high-quality Rice Bran Oil for its great health benefits and delicious flavor!

  • Non-GMO
  • Helps Lower Cholesterol
  • Boosts Immune System
  • Improves Skin Health
  • Promotes Weight Loss
  • Relieves Menopausal Symptoms
  • Protects Heart Health
  • Increases Cognitive Strength
  • Lowers Allergic Reactions​

- Organic Facts | November 9, 2017