Atomic Wings is celebrating National Hot and Spicy Food Day with a special dedicated to COVID-19 frontline medical professionals in New York City hospitals on Wednesday, Aug. 19.
The longstanding chicken wings-centered franchise, with more than 14 locations in New York alone (including restaurants in Astoria, Sunnyside, Corona and Jamaica), will donate one chicken sandwich to local hospitals for every sandwich that is purchased.
Queens-bred Zak Omar, Atomic Wings’ CEO, said they felt the initiative was the best way to not only introduce their new chicken sandwich, but also to give back to those who have put their lives at risk from the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was just clear to me, with my own battle with leukemia, how giving nurses and doctors are,” Omar said. “How selfless they are, how they care more about patients than themselves. When this first happened in March, no one knew what to expect. But they were on the frontlines, they still showed up and put their lives at risk. This is just great way to give back to these folks.”
Some of the hospitals they’re looking to donate to include Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, NYU Langone and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where Omar received treatment for cancer.
Atomic Wings first opened in Manhattan in 1989 by founder Adam Lippin, who had a mission to share authentic New York-style Buffalo wings with the world. It is now led by Omar and his brother, Ray.
Omar said their business hasn’t suffered too harshly from the pandemic, as their model leant itself to takeout.
“We’ve been around for 30 years, and been through a lot, from recessions and now a pandemic,” he said. “But our model has really helped us tremendously.”
Atomic Wings is expanding to other states in addition to its existing locations in New York and Maryland, with more units set to open in Arizona and Nevada.
The brand prides itself on serving antibiotic- and hormone-free, all-natural wings with more than 14 original sauces (most of which are gluten free). Their sauces range from sweet honey barbecue to their “smoke-out-of-your ears” hot “nuclear” sauce.
Omar noted their chicken sandwiches, much like their wings, are fresh, never frozen and made to order.
“The real goal is to get as many sandwiches to nurses and doctors as possible while enjoying a great meal,” he said.
This story first appeared on our sister publication qns.com.