You’d expect VIVA Chicken, a fast-casual Peruvian chicken chain, to be based in an urban center with a large Latino population such as Miami, or maybe Los Angeles or New York, but not Charlotte, N.C. But you’d be mistaken since VIVA Chicken launched in Charlotte, whose Latino population is about 10%.

Co-founder Bruno Machiavello, a native of Peru, arrived in Charlotte because his brother resided there, and Machiavello got a job as a chef in 1985 at George Couchell’s Showmars, a fast-casual fried chicken eatery. Couchell took Machiavello under his wing, showed him how to lead a restaurant team and prepare outstanding food.

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