Made possible by an experienced franchise group and an innovative financing partner, Church’s Chicken is about to undergo a large-scale domestic expansion. The new franchisee, Volunteer Chicken LLC, recently secured the rights to open 10 new restaurants with financial backing provided by American Development Partners (ADP). New markets slated for development include multiple restaurants throughout Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, with another 10-restaurant deal expected to follow in 2021.

“Church’s Chicken is a power brand,” says Larry Lavigne, one of the principal partners of Volunteer Chicken LLC. “We’re looking very forward to matching our experience with Church’s market leadership.”

Lavigne is currently a franchise owner of Jett’s Pizza with 25 total restaurants, 18 of which are located in Tennessee. He is also involved with Tropical Smoothie Café restaurants in Tennessee. His partner, Nirav Patel, owns and operates several high-volume establishments in New Jersey and New York and has previously owned restaurants with The Melting Pot, Tilted Kilt, and World of Beer. Together with their financing partner, ADP, the new franchisees will open the first of their new Church’s restaurants in fall of 2017—with the rest to follow over the next five years. At that time, in 2021, the group plans to pursue development of 10 additional Church’s restaurants over the following five years.

“This is a substantial deal for American Development Partners, and for our business partners, Volunteer Chicken,” says Caleb McMillen, chief operating officer for ADP. “We’ve estimated the real estate, construction, and design value will be worth more than $40 million after the initial roll out of units is complete.”

The ADP group is a full-service development and private equity firm with a unique 100 percent turnkey model for funding that is ideal for multi-unit operators.

“From its earliest days, Church’s has always been about smart business and building a superior brand. Restaurant developers like Volunteer Chicken and ADP are perfect examples of how our industry position provides leverage and opportunity to established franchise groups and newcomers alike,” says Bill Schreiber, vice president of global business development at Church’s Chicken/Texas Chicken. “We’re looking forward to the impact Volunteer Chicken is going to make in the Tennessee communities they’ll serve.”

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