Home /

The Arthur's story

This is the story of Arthur Withers, the man behind the wheel of the Southern Fried Chicken Steamboat.

We call our menu «ARTHUR’S BIG TASTES» because each item in it is a really tasty  result of long-term works of Arthur Withers and his team .

АртурBorn in 1935 in the East End of London, Arthur was the youngest of three brothers and two sisters. Space was tight in the single bedroom house so Arthur spent the first part of his life sleeping in a cardboard box at the end of his parent’s bed.

By the time Arthur had reached four years old, the Second World War had begun. The Withers family home was situated just half a mile from the Woolwich Arsenal manuvaixell_vapor_mississipi_1898facturer of armaments, a regular target for German Bombers, so his life quickly became one of days spent playing in bombed out streets and nights spent huddled in an air-raid shelter hoping desperately for survival. This routine continued until a direct hit one night left the family home nothing more than a pile of smouldering bricks, and the Withers completely homeless. Separated from his family & friends, Arthur was evacuated to Norfolk to spend years on a chicken farm learning to care and raise the animals that would ironically lead him to his greatest success.

…After three happy years serving in the armed forces, Arthur went to work selling pot scourers, his first step on the path into the world of catering. Always on the search for new opportunities, it was during this time that Arthur developed the ‘Bake & Take’ concept. This was a small concept based on selling small hot snacks such as pies & Jacket potatoes as an add-on to an existing business, even if that business was not specifically food orientated, such as fuel stations or newsagents. This concept quickly expanded across Europe, Scandinavia and even as far away as Australia and was eventually handed over to be run by Wimpy International.

arthur 19558During this time Arthur went on several trips across the USA learning about Fast Food, but one particular trip was to leave a lasting impression.During a trip to Greenville, Carolina, Arthur was having Sunday lunch at his hotel and was served fried chicken, a dish he had never experienced before and fell in love with at first bite. He eventually managed to get the recipe, and left to continue on his trip around the southern states of America. Two days later he was in Montgomery, Alabama when he was taken on a riverboat cruise. The image of a Mississippi steamboat combined with the taste of fried chicken started an idea in Arthur’s head, one which was soon to be realised as the now world renowned Southern Fried Chicken brand.arthur 1994025

Later the Southern Fried Chicken Brand moved from being an Idea to a work in progress. Working from their family garage, and after many nights of being forced to disrobe before being let into the house due to all the flour on them from the ingredient experimentation, the recipe & procedure for SFC that we still use today was finalized.

Thanks to lots of hard work by both employees and the franchisees the SFC Brand is now over 700 stores strong, across over 70 countries worldwide, and the Vizu range currently consisting of 100 products with the research and development department regularly adding more.

While outdone by the growth of Southern Fried Chicken, Arthur’s son Andrew also grew up. He has just taken over at the helm of the steamboat from his father, with the intention of sailing on further towards the ever-expanding horizon.