Chick N Max – a next generation fast casual franchise specializing in almond wood smoked chicken and wings, chef-crafted sandwiches and golden fried tenders – is continuing to fuel growth in its home state of Kansas, having recently signed an area development agreement for 25 locations over the next 10 years. The deal has been signed with Leghorn Development, LLC, a restaurant development group led by restaurant franchise industry veteran Rusty Rathbun.
Rathbun is planning to open three of the restaurants himself and is already actively searching for franchise partners to develop the rest in various designated market areas throughout Kansas, including Dodge City, Hutchinson, Lawrence, Manhattan, Salina, Topeka and Wichita, among others.
“The signing of this agreement represents a significant step in the growth of Chick N Max as we continue to drive our expansion efforts across the Central and Southeastern United States,” says Chick N Max founder Max Sheets. “To uphold our brand and continue our strategy of steady, planned expansion, it’s critical to partner with the right franchisees. There’s no doubt we found the right partner in Rusty.”
Rathbun brings a wealth of restaurant and franchise experience to his new venture with Chick N Max. He previously spent nearly 35 years as an area developer for Subway. During his tenure with the sandwich franchise giant, he was responsible for bringing the brand to Kansas in 1987 and ultimately had more than 160 units under his purview throughout the Midwestern, Western and Southwestern United States.
“I’ve been an admirer of the Chick N Max brand and exceptional guest experience for many years, and I’m excited to bring the award-winning concept to even more guests across Kansas,” said Rathbun. “I’m especially excited to be joining Max and his dynamic leadership team. Having the opportunity to grow the brand in Kansas, which I call home, gives me great pride.”
Founded in 2017 and franchising since 2021, Chick N Max offers a unique culinary experience with its 10 unique flavors of chef-crafted sandwiches, made with almond wood smoked pulled chicken or crispy golden fried tenders. Examples include the Maple Bacon Sandwich, featuring pulled smoked chicken, chopped bacon, a drizzle of maple syrup, cheddar cheese, and mayonnaise on a potato bun; or the Sweet & Spicy Sandwich, which includes lightly breaded, crisp chicken tenders, fried jalapeño pepper strips, cucumber, tomato and sweet & spicy sauce on a brioche bun.
In addition, Chick N Max serves its signature almond wood smoked chicken in the form of wings, leg quarters, breast quarters, and half chicken.
Guests can complete their meal with a range of 10 homestyle sides including fries, onion rings, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and smoked white beans, and 11 sauces that are made daily to ensure the highest quality and taste.
“Chick N Max’s made-from-scratch menu has something for everyone, with options for those looking to indulge to guests looking for a healthier take on traditional fast-casual chicken offerings,” says Rathbun.
The signing of the area development agreement with Rathbun comes at a time when Chick N Max is looking to expand across various parts of the Central and Southeastern United States. With three corporate-owned restaurants already serving throngs of customers throughout Wichita, Chick N Max intends to double its footprint by the end of next year and open as many as five new restaurants each year thereafter.