Chick N Max – a next generation fast casual franchise specializing in almond wood smoked chicken and wings, chef-crafted sandwiches and golden fried tenders – has signed a lease for its very first franchise location.

The new restaurant will be located in the Westlink Shopping Center at 8977 West Central Avenue and will be owned and operated by Leghorn Development, LLC, a restaurant development group led by restaurant franchise industry veteran Rusty Rathbun. Once open, the restaurant will mark Chick N Max’s fourth location in the Wichita area and very first franchise location in the country. 

Construction is expected to begin within 45 days, with a projected opening by the end of the year.

“The signing of this particular lease represents a significant step in the growth of Chick N Max as we continue to drive our franchise expansion efforts across the Central and Southeastern United States,” says Chick N Max founder Max Sheets. “We’re grateful to have such an experienced partner in Rusty, and look forward to opening our first franchise location with incredible enthusiasm.”

The new restaurant will include 2,500 square-feet of space, indoor seating for 50-60 guests, and an innovative double drive-thru. One lane will be used for traditional on-site ordering and pickup. The other lane will enable an express “skip the line” promise for customers ordering online, via the Chick N Max app and third-party delivery services.

As for the menu? 

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.

“I’ve been an admirer of Chick N Max and its exceptional guest experience for many years, and I’m excited to open the brand’s very first franchise location,” says Rathbun. “I’m especially excited to have recently joined Chick N Max as an area developer. Having the opportunity to grow the brand in Kansas, which I call home, gives me great pride.”

In April, Rathbun signed an area development agreement for 25 Chick N Max locations across various designated market areas throughout Kansas. He’s planning to open three of the restaurants himself and is actively searching for franchise partners to develop the rest.

In addition to the Kansas expansion plans, Chick N Max expects to open two other franchise units by the end of Q1 2023 – one in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and another in Houston, Texas, where multi-unit development deals have been signed.

According to Sheets, there are conversations taking place on potential added opportunities in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Phoenix.

Fast Casual, Franchising, Growth, News, Chick N Max