Since 1989, the Fanning family’s Southern Classic Chicken has been serving up fresh fried chicken at value pricing to families in the South and is actively looking to reach new communities with the launch of its franchise opportunity. The brand will soon have 17 corporately owned locations and plans to expand across the South through franchising after 30 years of proven success in a very competitive market. Particularly buoyed by the system’s performance in 2020, the brand is convinced that timing is ripe to start looking for entrepreneurs and restaurant professionals to join the family-driven brand and is targeting areas across Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas for its first wave of expansion.
Southern Classic Chicken’s success can be attributed to many factors, including its walk-up and drive-thru restaurant model. Given the current environment, the model is even more attractive because it can ensure that its customers receive a high-quality meal in a quick and safe manner. The brand keeps customers coming back with its affordable price point, with an average meal ranging from $5-$7.
Nick Binnings, Director of Brand Development, and Tom O’Keefe, Managing Director, are spearheading the brand’s expansion. Binnings and O’Keefe have combined experience of over 50 years in the restaurant operations and franchising space. Binnings was most recently the Vice President of Brand Development for Another Broken Egg Café, where he helped grow the concept from 15 to 62 units before an exit to private equity. O’Keefe has more than 30 years of franchise experience as a franchise attorney, and has held executive roles with Popeye’s/Church’s Chicken, Ruth Chris Steak House, and Anytime Fitness. He was most recently President of Smoothie King before going on his own to help growing companies like Southern Classic Chicken.
“We are no strangers to the franchising space and have worked with many national and international brands,” said O’Keefe. “What we saw in Southern Classic Chicken was unlike anything else out there. We joined forces to help the brand grow because of its culture, quality and incredible value. Adding super compelling unit-level economics to those other components leaves us very confident that this franchise opportunity will be well received and pursued.”
The menu is simple: home-style fried chicken made with a proprietary marinade and batter which is complemented by fresh side offerings inspired by its southern roots. No corners are cut in sourcing the freshest products possible, and the brand has a commitment to serving the “absolute best” offerings at a better price point and value than competitors.
“Fried chicken is a comfort food that many enjoy, especially here in the South,” said Binnings. “With such an incredible value, we have seen sales continue to prosper despite the pandemic because it’s an affordable option that can feed the whole family. In fact, in 2020, Southern Classic Chicken’s system-wide sales have increased more than 20 percent on drive-thru sales alone.”
Southern Classic Chicken is looking for franchisees with restaurant management experience that align with its family-focused culture. Binnings and O’Keefe agree that the priority is growing at a comfortable pace where they can get to know franchisees personally and ensure they are the perfect fit for the brand.