Many quick-service chicken restaurants aren’t even open for breakfast. Bojangles, however, has made it a core part of its business since being founded in 1977. You can thank the biscuits, of course.
“Biscuits are an all-day staple in the south,” Jackie Woodward, Bojangles’ chief marketing officer, says. “We serve biscuits all day long with our supreme combos and with our family meals, but where biscuits really begin is at breakfast.”
Bojangles’ biscuits are notorious in the South. The process alone has a certain lore —there is a 49-step process taking place behind the curtain. The brand even has a certification process to become a “Certified Biscuit Maker,” which takes into account the speed an employee can make them, the taste, and the look of the biscuit over a period of days and weeks.
About 40 percent of the brand's sales come before 11 a.m. Woodward says the company is able to make breakfast so profitable because Bojangles keeps it simple. It is important, she notes, to have consistency in service because people are usually busy in the mornings.
“Many people in the breakfast daypart are on their way to work or school or just getting started with their day, so they're on a schedule and it's important to them to know that Bojangles can be reliable from a ease of use and speed standpoint,” Woodward says.
Bojangles navigates this by making biscuits on a tight schedule—the made-from-scratch product comes out of the oven every 20 minutes. The brand touts a separate operations plan for breakfast, which has helped maintain a strong morning daypart without compromising lunch and dinner quality. “Our kitchens are really built around this—making sure that we can deliver hot, fresh, tasty biscuits, and very high quality proteins on our biscuits like steak and country ham in addition of course to our iconic Cajun filet chicken biscuit,” Woodward says.
Bojangles has also prioritized allowing customers to see the magic happen with its biscuit theater prototype as part of the company's Genesis Design. In the stores it has been building over the past 18 months, you can actually watch the biscuits being made.
Keeping breakfast simple extends to menu offerings as well—the brand seldom, if ever, strays from its classic lineup.
Even though many chicken restaurants are not competing with Bojangles in the morning, it is still a competitive daypart broadly in fast food, and a time where price plays a vital role.
“Making sure that we've got a really good promotional price 365 days a year is very important at breakfast,” Woodward says.
Bojangles’ breakfast boom has remained consistent across multiple platforms. The company launched third-party delivery about two and a half years ago and curbside nine months ago, and assumed activity through these services would skew toward lunch and dinner. In reality, the sales mirror the dayparts of its regular business.
“There is most definitely a delivery, curbside, order ahead business for breakfast, and we're capitalizing on that opportunity,” Woodward says.
Though Bojangles is a southern brand, it’s currently looking to grow via franchising in Texas, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
“We're in some of the fastest-growing states in the nation, introducing them to what a good southern breakfast is,” Woodward says. “We're excited about that because we think that people outside of the south haven't really tasted or understood what a great Southern breakfast is—now Bojangles is coming to town to bring it to them.