Added CFO Seth Jensen: “We had a number of potential private-equity suitors over the past few years, but we were committed to aligning with a company that would be able to drive more impact than just financing. Ultimately, we chose 10 Point Capital due to their expertise in franchising and the shared vision for the brand.”
Currently, 64 of Slim Chickens’ 84 units are franchised. The brand opened its fourth U.K. location in Birmingham, England, earlier this month and will debut restaurants in Southaven, Mississippi, and Owasso, Oklahoma in the next several weeks followed by a Southeast and Midwest push.
The franchise heavy direction will continue, Gordon says. To date, Slim Chickens has opened about two to four corporate units a year alongside the overall expansion. There are 30 franchise groups in the system today. Counting the agreements and current development, Slim Chickens has spread to 21 states. There are six international units as well across the U.K. and Middle East.
Rothschild says Slim Chickens is hitting a velocity point as franchisees brought into the system over the past year are preparing to open units or expand to second ones. “This ramp up has really started over the last couple of years,” he says. “We’re now seeing that come to fruition.”
Gordon adds that investment “will really be the catalyst to take us to the next level, just in terms of sheer numbers of franchisees and franchise stores that we have in the marketplace.”
And beyond simply building out that pipeline, 10 Point Capital’s backing will afford Slim Chickens the opportunity to add additional resources and strengthen its growth-ready infrastructure.
Rothschild says that includes everything from operations to training to marketing, franchise development, facilities, construction, and design. “All the real support mechanisms to be able to assist franchisee in opening their restaurants and then continuing to develop more restaurants in the future,” he says.
“As the system grows,” Rothschild adds, “we need to be able to support that expansion and this really gives us the opportunity to go ahead and achieve that level of support on the back end.”
Going by last year’s QSR 50, 600 units, right now, would place Slim Chickens as the country’s eighth biggest chicken chain, right behind Bojangles’.