Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Zippy’s

Restaurant Insider

April 2, 2023

Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

ANNE LEE speaks with Zippy’s chef TREVOR LUKE

Since 1966, Zippy’s has been the go-to gathering place for local families. Whether picking up Zip Pac bentos to bring to the beach or dining in one of its 22 restaurants, this iconic Hawaii staple has been a favorite for generations. Its famous chili is so popular that it sells more than 100 tons every month!

Double Chocolate Coffee Cake Square ($2.85)

What’s new and exciting are the monthly specials that it features, where customers can try new creations or old favorites for a limited time. I met with chef Trevor Luke at the Makiki location to try some of the April specials and learn more about what’s in store for Zipsters.

AL: Can you tell me about the April specials?

Pork in Gochujang Sauce ($16.26)

TL: Our April specials feature the following items:

Garlic Miso Chicken Plate ($12.75 in Honolulu, takeout), available all day and at all locations

Kanak Attack Pac ($15.95 in Honolulu, takeout), available Fridays in April at all locations

Pork in Gochujang Sauce ($16.26 in Honolulu, takeout), available on Fridays at all locations

6-inch Guava Haupia Cake ($17.95 in Honolulu, takeout)

Double Chocolate Coffee Cake Square ($2.85 in Honolulu, takeout)

6-inch Guava Haupia Cake ($17.95)

AL: Does the weekly Friday special change monthly, and how do you come up with the specials?

TL: The Friday weekly specials do change monthly (or sometimes bimonthly). A lot of what we create depends on what ingredients we can get our hands on. Our research and development chef, Wayne, and I work closely on creating dishes that use local ingredients as much as possible and are delicious for our guests. For example, our beloved chili is made with 100% local beef; all of our saimin dishes are made with Sun Noodle saimin noodles, which are locally produced here in Hawaii; Sugarland Growers supplies our tomatoes; we buy local products such as Japanese cucumbers, green onions, papaya and eggplant, when available; and all the eggs used at our Zippy’s locations are local eggs, and we have supported Eggs Hawaii for many years.

Garlic Miso Chicken Plate ($12.75)

AL: What is the most popular item that you sell daily?

TL: The most popular menu item is a toss-up between our Korean Fried Chicken Plate and our famous Zip Pac.

AL: How has the transition been with the Zipster Rewards program?

TL: Since transitioning to Zipster Rewards, I would say that it has been well received by our guests. We are starting to roll out exclusive Zipster offers, and starting this month, we’re rolling out a Zipster Rewards exclusive offer called “CheeHoo! Time.” Think of this as our version of a happy hour. From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays throughout the month of April, Zipsters will earn double Zipcoins on every order placed. Consider this a little something extra to help get through the afternoon slump.

Kanak Attack Pac ($15.95)

Starting April 3, we will also be rolling out new Zipster Rewards redemption items, including Grilled Cornbread (500 Zipcoins), Chili & Cheese Fries (1,000 Zipcoins) and Meat ‘n Eggs (1,750 Zipcoins).

AL: For those that have not signed up yet, can you tell us how to sign up for this program?

TL: To sign up for Zipster Rewards, go to zippys.com/rewards for detailed instructions and more information.

AL: What specials will be available for Easter?

TL: This Easter, we have a few specials that will be available only on April 8-9:

Roast Turkey Plate ($16.10 Honolulu, takeout)

Roast Turkey & Baked Ham Combo ($15.95 in Honolulu, takeout)

Decorated Easter Haupia Cake ($27.50 in Honolulu, takeout), only available on Oahu

Decorated Easter Donut ($2.45 in Honolulu, takeout), only available on Oahu.

Visit zippys.com/locations for more information on your favorite Zippy’s restaurant.

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best