Rise bets on biscuits and fried chicken with new name, but there will still be doughnuts

Rise Biscuits and Donuts is pivoting to fried chicken.

The Durham-based breakfast chain announced Tuesday that its future lies in the power of the fried chicken biscuit, changing its name to Rise Southern Biscuits and Righteous Chicken.

In playing up biscuits and fried chicken, the company said it’s downplaying the sweeter side of its business, giving doughnuts a smaller corner of the menu. Previously, Rise gave its biscuits and doughnuts nearly equal billing.

“We’ve learned a lot as we have grown, including how different markets react to our food, what it takes to run a profitable Rise location and where our future lies,” said Rise CEO Tom Ferguson in a news release. “We’re committed to being the best at what we do and focusing on what we do best. That’s biscuits. They are and always have been the soul of Rise.”

The menu is now stuffed with biscuit options, including a lineup of fried chicken biscuits, a gravy menu and a biscuit sandwich section featuring a fluffy take on avocado toast, a fried green tomato and classics like ham or sausage biscuits.

Doughnuts are out of the spotlight, but still present. They’re tucked within a larger sweets menu that also includes the popular apple fritter; sweet biscuits like strawberry, blueberry; and one given the cinnamon roll treatment. There are still a handful of doughnuts, including cherished options like creme brule and maple bacon, as well as a plain glazed, but gone are the cake-style doughnuts and Rise’s wilder flavors and toppings.

“We’re focused on serving the best dang biscuits and beyond, both at our restaurants and through our new online ordering options,” said Ferguson in a release. “The changes to our concept and menu put our customers, employees and culture first.”

Rise started in Durham seven years ago and has expanded steadily, opening franchise locations throughout the Triangle, other parts of North Carolina and other states. The company said there are currently 15 stores, but franchise contracts for another 100 more.

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