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Spotlights

Hot Chicken Takeover founder discusses social enterprise March 21

Hot Chicken Takeover founder discusses social enterprise March 23


Joe DeLoss has a secret: he doesn’t really love chicken. But Columbus does have a craving for the juicy, Nashville-style spicy fried chicken served at Hot Chicken Takeover, the restaurant he founded in April 2014.

DeLoss is leading the effort in central Ohio toward social entrepreneurship by hiring and providing employment and supportive benefits to adults who are affected by poverty, homelessness and incarceration. DeLoss will speak to Otterbein students as part of Leadership Week @ the Library at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, in Towers 112.

Hot Chicken Takeover’s popularity has been phenomenal. Since it’s founding, DeLoss says they have served 150,000 pieces of chicken. Not bad considering it’s only open Wednesday through Sunday during lunch.  

DeLoss said from the time he could remember he had two paths calling him -- entrepreneurship and social service. Realizing that he would not be fulfilled toiling at a regular job, he discovered he could find personal satisfaction and help provide community solutions through social enterprise, creating meaningful social change through for-profit business. Being profitable is important DeLoss says. It ensures that he can provide stable employment and assistive benefits for his employees.   

From the beginnings of a take-out window in Olde Towne East, the startup progressed to a food truck, and now occupies space in the North Market. DeLoss stresses the importance of serving excellent food and service, something that the employees can take pride in. He hopes the enterprise will expand into a regional chain in the next five years.  

DeLoss has served as an adjunct instructor at the Fisher College of Business and the John Glenn School of Public Affairs, both at The Ohio State University. He also served on various boards concerning workforce development.



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