Slim Chickens made brand history in 2023 by closing out the year with more openings than ever before. Looking ahead, it plans to open over 70 stores in 2024.
Beloved for its hand-breaded, cooked-to-order chicken tenders, Slim Chickens prides itself on offering high-quality food with fresh ingredients and a welcoming and energetic atmosphere. Committed to sharing the experience of true Southern Hospitality, whether dining in or taking out, guests feel at home and can enjoy a good meal in any setting.
Attractive to experienced multi-unit operating groups for its ability to resonate with guests and a top-tier leadership team that prioritizes franchisee support and simple operations, Slim Chickens has gained a reputation for its innovative and flexible strategies making it a robust brand for generations to take advantage of. In 2023, as several externalities continued to plague the industry, investors, and site developers, Slim Chickens expanded its footing to meet consumers and developers where they were through ground-up, conversions, and nontraditional locations. Heading into 2024, Slim Chickens takes its 53 restaurant openings, the largest performance for the brand thus far, as a testament to what it will accomplish with over 400 development deals signed in the last two years and as more operators look for answers in a new era of dining, quick service and guest’s preferences for experiential dining and differentiated menu items.
A young brand in its prime, Slim Chickens has experienced 70% restaurant growth in the last three years, opening one store a week, totaling over 250 opened locations today. The brand has also seen a remarkable 13.6% year-over-year increase in AUV, reaching an impressive $3,864,513. Entering 10 new territories, the brand celebrates impressive milestone store openings including in the world’s largest airport in Istanbul, Turkey, introductions in Nevada, Indiana, and Wisconsin, and the University of Arkansas Fort Smith.
More impressively, the brand has held a robust 40% increase in comp store sales growth over the last four years. Devoted to its customers, Slim Chickens has developed a strong inclusive community known as “Slimthusiasts” in both domestic and international markets, through its alignment to consumer preferences for experiential dine-in and convenient takeout and drive-through options. The brand remains at the forefront through its high-tech stack with Kiosks, in the development of AI at the drive-thru, a curated Slim Chickens app., and online ordering platform. Considering its menu is broader than many in the category, offering chicken tenders, fresh salads, sandwiches, chicken and waffles, chicken wings, complemented with unique sides, and 17 house-made dipping sauces, guests can enjoy a different flavor profile with each visit. Fans also resonate with the Southern contemporary look and feel and the open and inviting layout of Slim Chickens restaurants, with curated murals that personalize and anchor each restaurant to its community across the globe.
As the fast-casual restaurant continues its positive growth trajectory in the new year, it is proud to announce an additional 54 new development deals signed in the 4th quarter with new and current franchisees for Cincinnati and Dayton Ohio, Central Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Maryland, and Texas. With a winning combination of a delicious menu, a proven business model, adaptability to market trends and real estate development, a commitment to community engagement, and an AUV of $3.8 million, Slim Chickens stands out from the rest in the fast-casual industry. Heading into 2024, the brand is slated to open 70 locations with over 1,200 in the pipeline, opening one to two locations a week coast to coast and overseas. As it continues its burgeoning momentum and upward trajectory, it’s looking to extend its southern hospitality and fuel the demand for its hand-breaded cooked-to-order tenders across the United States as well as both sides of the Atlantic in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, West Virginia, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, the European Union, Turkey, and the GCC.
“This year, we have tallied up an impressive year of growth into new markets on a national and global scale more than ever before and we could not be prouder,” says Vice President of Franchise Development, Jackie Lobdell. “We are honored to have a dedicated team of skilled and knowledgeable franchisees who continue to extend our southern hospitality to new markets around the world. As the chicken craze continues to flourish, our leadership team, training methods, resources, and established franchisees will continue to maintain our positive growth trajectory. We remain resilient and relentless time and time again and look forward to further grabbing the attention of highly qualified restaurant operators who want to be a part of our story in communities everywhere.”
“We have spent a lot of time and investment in the people that enable us to do this,” adds COO Sam Rothschild. “We understand what it takes to support our franchisees and we have the systems and processes in place to do so. We are honored to have the quality of franchisees that we have today but are eager to continue the momentum. There is still a lot of opportunity in the U.S. to grow Slim Chickens and we are thrilled to continue to enter new and current markets with established multi-unit operators who are eager to join us in growth mode.”
Slim Chickens’ franchise opportunity differentiates itself with prime markets available for multi-unit development, a passionate leadership team and strong support system, site selection, simple operations and labor model, comprehensive training, and excellent branding. As Slim Chickens expands, it is awarding franchise opportunities to qualified, experienced, and passionate multi-unit groups looking to add a dynamic concept to their portfolio.