Slim Chickens announced the promotion of Jackie Lobdell to vice president of franchise development and the hiring of two director-level franchise development team members.
The new team members, Chris Wyland and Eric Brown will report to Jackie Lobdell and support her franchise growth strategy. Both positions are new and were created as demand for the fast-growing concept continues to grow among multi-unit groups.
“We are ecstatic to continue expanding. Jackie’s promotion, alongside the introduction of these two experienced hires, will do just that,” says COO Sam Rothschild. “Jackie’s love of the brand, determination and infectious attitude has been an integral part of what has fueled the growth of our franchise system. Now is the time to enhance our efforts to reach even higher levels. I can’t wait to see what her team accomplishes in the coming months.”
Since joining Slim Chickens in 2018, Lobdell has grown the development pipeline by more than 40 percent with some of the nation’s foremost multi-unit franchise groups. Through her leadership, Slim Chickens’ development pipeline sits at more than 400 units, well on the brand’s way to meeting its goal of 600 restaurants over the next 10 years.
Lobdell is a multi-year award winning sales professional with 25 years of experience. Prior to heading up franchise development at Slim Chickens, Lobdell served as a director of franchise development for FOCUS Brands, where she was instrumental in growing the McCallister’s Deli concept through multi-unit franchising, ultimately being a key player in expanding its footprint to more than 400 units through multi-brand partners.
Brown joins Slim Chickens from Inspire Brands where he gained experience in franchise sales working with Rusty Taco, Buffalo Wild Wings, Arby’s, Sonic and Jimmy John’s. Wyland joins the brand following his role as franchise sales director at Capriotti’s. The bulk of his experience comes from his time creating and franchising multiple concepts over the past decade.
“Both Chris and Eric have the enthusiasm and experience needed to help Slim Chickens thrive,” says Lobdell. “I know they will be assets to the team and I am especially excited to welcome them onboard.”
Since February 2020, the brand has inked eight multi-unit agreements representing 49 new franchise restaurants. The deals, all signed with experienced franchisees and groups, are set to bring Slim Chickens restaurants to key markets across the country, including several cities throughout Alabama and southern Tennessee; Dallas; Cleveland; and cities throughout Montana.
Building on the momentum of the new franchise agreements signed in recent weeks, Slim Chickens has opened six restaurants since the start of the year and has another 15 restaurants slated to open through December. New locations are set to open in markets across the country, including states like Florida, Colorado, New Jersey, Texas, Maryland and Washington, to name a few. Several restaurants are under construction in the United Kingdom, as well.
With hundreds of thousands of happy customers, the brand has developed a strong devoted fanbase, also known as “Slimthusiasts,” helping to fuel demand for the hand-breaded, cooked-to-order tenders. Slim Chickens has distinguished itself in the “better chicken” segment by offering high-quality food and 17 house-made dipping sauces, allowing customers to enjoy a different flavor profile with each visit. Its menu is broader than many in the category, offering chicken tenders, fresh salads, sandwiches, chicken and waffles, chicken wings and unique side items. Fans also resonate with the southern contemporary look and feel and the open and inviting layout of Slim Chickens restaurants, which speak to the hospitality mindset that anchors the brand.
The Slim Chickens franchise opportunity differentiates itself with prime markets available for multi-unit development, a passionate leadership team and world-class franchisee support system. As Slim Chickens expands, it is awarding franchise opportunities to qualified, experienced and passionate multi-unit groups looking to add a dynamic segment to their portfolio.