Dave's Hot Chicken Inks Deal to Open 10 Stores in Texas

    Industry News | July 8, 2021
    Dave's Hot Chicken exterior
    Dave's Hot Chicken
    Franchisees will grow in Austin, New Braunfels, San Marcos, and Waco.

    Dave’s Hot Chicken, the Los Angeles-based street food sensation turned breakthrough fast-casual brand, announced today that it has inked a franchise agreement with Drew Wilson, Joe Dickerson, Craig Smith and Casey Klajbor, to open 10 locations in select markets along the I-35 Corridor in Texas, including Austin, New Braunfels, San Marcos and Waco. 

    “Drew, Joe, Craig and Casey bring a lot of great credentials with them to Dave’s Hot Chicken. The enthusiasm they have for the brand is palpable, too,” says Bill Phelps, CEO of Dave’s Hot Chicken. “Their experience and enthusiasm will be vital as we grow our presence in Texas.” 

    The Dave’s Hot Chicken model works well in a variety of floor plans. The team is seeking 2,000 to 2,500 square feet endcaps and freestanding locations, with patio’s and drive-thru infrastructure a plus. Real estate developers should contact Drew Wilson at drew@hchtexas.com to review available space. 

    “I fell in love with the Dave’s Hot Chicken brand and after the first bite of the slider, I was hooked. Each restaurant is outfitted with a hip vibe and unique feel that is representative of the community it is located in, and I was deeply drawn to that because it shows that no two stores are the same,” says Wilson. “They have a strong team full of top-notch individuals who are great to work with. Our team looks forward to going on this journey full of passion and purpose.” 

    The group brings extensive experience from a variety of backgrounds. Smith and Klajbor currently own and operate multiple Rockin’ Jump Trampoline parks and are both veterans, with Smith serving in the Air Force and Klajbor in the Marine Corps. Wilson was the founder and former CEO of Rockin’ Jump, a trampoline park franchise that included a café within the entertainment center at each location, before starting a finance company that he’s been involved in for the last few years. Dickerson is an entrepreneur and investor with extensive operational experience in the restaurant space. He is an adjunct professor in the Department of Entrepreneurship at the Texas Christian University Neeley School of Business. All four have been friends and partners for years, working together on multiple ventures and investments. 

    Founded by classically-trained chef Dave Kopushyan and three friends in early 2017, Dave’s Hot Chicken initially opened as a parking lot pop-up, with lines quickly wrapping around the block. Since then, the brand has exploded in popularity and now has multiple brick-and-mortar locations open in Southern California. Today, the fast-casual brand has its sights set on growing throughout the United States through franchising and has several multi-unit agreements in development. 

    Specializing in hot chicken tenders and sliders, with spice levels ranging from “No Spice” to “Reaper,” each restaurant also serves sides of house-made Kale Slaw, creamy Mac & Cheese and crispy Fries or Cheese Fries. 

    Dave’s Hot Chicken offers a robust business model, including national and local marketing support, proven systems, manuals and operating procedures, as well as assistance with site selection. As the brand expands, it is seeking qualified, experienced and passionate restaurant operators and franchise groups to develop the concept in key markets.

    News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.