Bojangles Opco, LLC, known for its iconic Southern food in more than 760 restaurants throughout the Southeast, announced a development deal with a longtime franchisee dedicated to growing and investing in the brand, Jeff Rigsby of BOJ of WNC, LLC. The deal between the pair outlines a plan to open 45 new locations over the next seven years.
Rigsby recently marked his 20th year as a Bojangles’ franchisee and is celebrating the anniversary with this substantial expansion agreement. The restaurants will be developed around Rigsby’s core markets, including Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, along with a new Bojangles market: Columbus, Ohio, which is slated for 15 locations. In connection with the planned development of 45 new restaurants, Rigsby has also acquired 16 company-operated restaurants from Bojangles, making him the largest franchisee in the system.
“Jeff has been a valued partner of the Bojangles brand for over 20 years, and we could not be more thrilled to extend this business relationship to 45 new locations, including expansion into a new market for our brand,” says Jose Costa, chief development officer for Bojangles. “He embodies what it means to proudly represent this beloved chain, and we are looking forward to many more years of success for Jeff.”
Rigsby currently operates 92 locations, including the 16 recently acquired restaurants. He also has nine approved locations projected to open in 2021, which means he is anticipated to hit 100 stores by 2022.
“Over the past 20 years, my partnership with Bojangles has been rewarding and full of growth, and this major milestone and accompanying investment deal is a perfect indicator of that,” says Rigsby. “I’m grateful for what we’ve accomplished together, and I’m excited for what’s to come.”
Rigsby joined the chicken-and-biscuits chain in 1994 as an area supervisor in Greenville, South Carolina. He was later promoted to director of operations—a role in which he oversaw more than 35 stores throughout the Carolinas. In 2001, Rigsby harnessed his entrepreneurial spirit and became a franchisee, buying six stores in Asheville, North Carolina. Since that time, his Bojangles franchise has seen exponential growth across five states.
Rigsby attributes his success with Bojangles to a focus on operating his restaurants at the highest level, developing team members as the most important asset, and giving back to the community.