Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken, founded in 1966 by "the Colonel's" nephew Lee Cummings, announced this week that it recently entered into the largest market development agreement in the history of the brand. NLM Enterprises LLC and new franchisees Noman Aiyash and Leo Gonzalez inked the agreement with Lee’s to open 12 new restaurants over the next seven years in the greater Detroit area.
"Lee's is growing and we're excited to expand our presence in the state of Michigan for Lee’s fans to experience our fresh never frozen products. The Lee's location in Plymouth has a legendary following, so we're looking forward to adding many new locations in Southeast Michigan over the coming years," says Lee's CEO Ryan Weaver. "This expansion really demonstrates the strength and momentum of the Lee’s brand right now and the differentiation our product offering brings to the chicken QSR category. Our customers love our product, and we’re excited for Noman and Leo to bring the best fried chicken out there to more residents in these areas."
Weaver adds that Aiyash is experienced in the franchise realm with Lee's being the second quick-service restaurant concept in his portfolio. Both Aiyash and Gonzalez say they were drawn to the Lee's concept after being customers of the brand for more than a decade.
"Lee's is a good fit for us to expand locally, especially as long-time fans of the brand," says Aiyash, who will focus on operations. "Lee's as a whole is seeing record sales growth over the past couple years. We expect to be a part of continuing that momentum, especially with our many years of restaurant experience in these markets."
Gonzalez, who will focus on the development aspect of the new locations, says, "These future locations will be a combination of new construction and remodels of existing QSR sites depending upon the area and how we can best serve customers." NLM Enterprises LLC plans to have its first Lee’s location open by the end of 2022.