Guthrie’s, the chicken-finger-only restaurant pioneer, announced that it’s expanding nationwide in a big way. Through a 50-unit Area Developer Agreement, and an option for another 50 restaurants, Stephen Galbraith and Matt Dahlhauser of Dahlhauser Galbraith Operating Companies, LLC, are set to aggressively expand Guthrie’s out west into Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. Galbraith and Dahlhauser, who have been Guthrie’s franchisees for years, already own five existing Guthrie’s restaurants in Alabama and Georgia.
“Guthrie’s is exactly the kind of brand that succeeds in the American West thanks to a pioneering and adventurous spirit but grounded in mouthwatering tradition. These traits helped make us the first-ever chicken finger only restaurant in the country,” says Matt Dahlhauser, Guthrie’s Area Developer. “While our available territory is large, we’re prioritizing Las Vegas, Reno, and Boise as markets to develop first. Not only will we own and operate new Guthrie’s restaurants in those cities, but we will also actively seek new franchisees to develop additional restaurants across the region.”
With a national portfolio in real estate development, both Galbraith and Dahlhauser are uniquely positioned to develop Guthrie’s in these new markets. The business partners will leverage existing real estate holdings to get units open and operating quickly and then add additional restaurants through new franchisees as they sign deals.
“Our risks are strategic and calculated,” says Stephen Galbraith. “There is tremendous opportunity for restaurant expansion in markets such as Las Vegas when you look beyond the bright lights of the Strip or Main Street. There are huge, underserved swaths in cities like Las Vegas, Reno, and Boise, and we believe Guthrie’s will catch fire once people get a chance to taste our food. The real estate we currently own in those markets and the assets we are in the process of acquiring right now give us a distinct advantage when it comes to getting a restaurant up and running very quickly.”
For over 40 years, Guthrie’s has drawn in crowds across the country for its hand-breaded chicken fingers rooted in a tradition of fresh, hot, and fast, with a generous dash of southern hospitality. Rounding out Guthrie’s simple, yet classic menu is hand-chopped coleslaw, crinkle cut French fries, Texas toast and its signature dipping sauce. Since its inception in 1965, Guthrie’s has become famous for its unique take on chicken fingers and down-home food. With one foot anchored in tradition and the other firmly planted in the future, Guthrie’s has spread to seven states and more than 46 locations.
“It’s amazing and humbling that Stephen and Matt found their initial investment in Guthrie’s so successful that they decided to take this next step with us,” says Joe Kelly Guthrie, CEO of Guthrie’s Franchising, Inc. “They have been incredible owners, and after several conversations and meetings with our team, it was clear that this was going to be a perfect fit. As we continue to grow our franchise community, we’re fortunate that talented, multi-unit operators of Stephen and Matt’s caliber with their experience across multiple business verticals, wanted to continue expanding with our team.”
This new development agreement, along with nearly a dozen new openings this year and more to come before the beginning of 2023, is a testament to the confidence that franchise owners have in the Guthrie’s system. Over the last year, Guthrie’s has amplified its growth strategy and added experienced leadership and technology resources to ramp up growth. That investment is already coming to fruition with additional franchise agreements with new and existing franchisees.
“Guthrie’s is the flagship chicken finger restaurant,” adds Guthrie. “We launched the entire chicken finger restaurant industry. There are certainly copycats out there, but we were the OG. It doesn’t take a scientist or a historian to distinguish the original from the mimics. So, if it’s golden fried chicken fingers you want, please come by and see us at a Guthrie’s near you.”