Rex’s Chicken, a Tulsa, Oklahoma-based chicken concept first founded in 1976, is ready for growth once more. The chain, which once boasted 55 units, closed its last location in 1999. In 2007, it was purchased by David and Camille Rutkauskas. Since then, the couple has worked to streamline operations and build-out the menu, while also repositioning the brand for expansion.
“Camille and I really fell in love with the chain when we first started going there in the 1990s,” says David Rutkauskas, co-founder of Rex’s Chicken Franchise System. “We knew the product was great and stood the test of time, and we knew it had a loyal following within the nine states where it had locations in the past. So, when we had the chance to purchase it in 2007, we jumped on the opportunity.”
The plan was to patiently solidify Rex’s operational structure and in 2017 David and Camille opened the first franchise location in Bixby, Oklahoma. The second opened in September 2019 in Broken Arrow. Both locations have experienced record-breaking success. The Bixby location has an average unit volume of $1.2 million and the second location has grossed $100,000 per month.
“When we opened the first franchise location in 2017, the plan was not to rush and to open a second two years later. But our goal was to get the first one established and rockin’ and rolling,” David Rutkauskas says. “Both locations are performing well above our expectations and we just feel it’s the right time to see what this baby can really do.”
Rex’s Chicken customer favorites include Original and Jalepeno bite-sized chicken, as well as the mashed potatoes, fried okra and widely popular fry bread, which is a nod to the areas Native American Roots.
“To us, a good brand starts with the quality of the product and we knew early on that the product was great. It is simply outstanding chicken,” Rutkauskas says. “It’s extremely flavorful, it’s light, and paired with the fry bread that comes with honey, it’s a combination that is irresistible. People come back for that again and again.”
Now that Rex’s Chicken is poised for growth, David said the plan is to expand outside of the Midwest and also internationally.
“While I think brand recognition in this part of the country has contributed to its success, we are not limiting growth to just the centralized market,” he says. “The restaurant appeals to consumers from all walks of life and we just see so much potential in this concept and its menu. Camille and I have spent nine years perfecting everything. Ever since I’ve known her, Camille has had her finger on the pulse of what people like to eat and her touches are all over this menu. We are truly excited to offer Rex’s Chicken as a franchise opportunity to other entrepreneurs.”