2024 Fast & Serious Winners: 11-20
#11 Slim Chickens
Fast-casual chicken restaurants
CEO Tom Gordon is quick to credit franchisees and those running day-to-day restaurant operations for Slim Chickens’ growth. His corporate staff and the work culture they’ve built are likewise responsible. The chicken-focused chain, which is down slightly on this ranking from its No. 5 position last year, grew systemwide sales 117.9 percent from 2020 to 2022, hitting $361 million from 175 units. “We have done a lot of things right, but I think the two biggest reasons for our success is the restaurant owners we have selected to grow with and how our staff supports them,” Gordon said. “It has been so critically important to our sustainable growth to have selected franchisees who have had restaurant experience and have them sign multi-unit deals in the right markets.” Gordon also said a big strategy win for his company was tinkering with the prototype design of new restaurants that have a smaller footprint and emphasize drive-thru capabilities. It has helped the company better offset rising real estate and construction costs. “Every franchisee we sign now has a multi-store deal and we’re collaborating with them to build out all our restaurants in a thoughtful way, and I think that’s been another key to our success,” he said. As for the biggest challenges facing Slim Chickens moving forward, Gordon echoed what a lot of franchisors talk about these days: the high cost of construction and ongoing issues plaguing the supply chain. “Supply chain still presents some spotty moments for us, but as long as we continue to hire great people, great team members and continue to support them, we feel we can manage those things,” Gordon said.
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