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QSR Magazine | Slim Chickens signs deal to expand in Oklahoma and Texas

By In the News

Slim Chickens announced that it has inked a franchise agreement to develop five-units agreement in Southeast Oklahoma and Northern Texas.

Colt Harmon is the entrepreneur bringing Slim Chickens to the region. As a talented multi-concept franchisee, Harmon has extensive experience in the restaurant industry and in real estate development.

“As a true Arkansan, I’ve followed Slim Chickens since it opened its very first restaurant and always knew it was a concept I wanted to be attached to,” says Harmon of his franchise agreement with Arkansas-based Slim Chickens. “The current momentum behind the brand made now the right time to franchise. I’m excited for the months ahead.”

Harmon plans to open in towns and cities across Southeast Oklahoma, such as Muskogee, and into Northern Texas towns like Wichita Falls.

“Colt has exactly the experience and passion that we seek in a franchise partner,” says Jackie Lobdell, executive director of franchise development at Slim Chickens. “His strong connection to the concept and proven restaurant operations experience make him an essential player as we continue to grow Slim Chickens in new markets across the country.”

Read the full story at QSR Magazine:

Franchise Times | When outside investors call, choose carefully, says Slim Chickens CEO

By In the News

A few hours after our interview Tom Gordon headed to London, where the CEO of Slim Chickens visited the brand’s newest restaurant in the United Kingdom and its sixth to open there since signing a master franchisee agreement with Boparan Restaurant Group in 2018.

It’s a far cry—and a continent away—from Arkansas, where Gordon and co-founder Greg Smart were drinking beer in Smart’s garage, testing fried chicken recipes and dipping sauces.

The duo, along with an ever-expanding team, eventually built Slim Chickens from a single restaurant in Fayetteville in 2003 to an 89-unit franchise system that last summer attracted an investment from private equity firm 10 Point Capital.

Attracted largely by the stable revenue stream of royalties, private equity’s growing presence in franchise investments and acquisitions has in turn driven many founder-led and emerging brands to target such groups for third-party capital.

Though the money is alluring, brand leaders must first know what they want from outside capital and have a plan for how they’ll deploy those funds long before they bring it in.

They should be prepared, too, for the intense due diligence process and understand what that outside partner is getting in return for their capital. How much equity is the franchisor giving up? What’s the impact of this outside influence?

Read the full story at Franchise Times:

Nation’s Restaurant News | With 2019 investment, fast- casual Slim Chickens plans growth push

By In the News

Slim Chickens Development Co. opened its 100thunit last week in Little Rock, Ark., and is tailoring growth in the year ahead, a company partner said.

“We’ve made advances in the interior and exterior of the prototype. We’ve upgraded technology with online ordering, app, rewards program. We’ve done additions to the menu,” said Sam Rothschild, a Slim partner and chief operating officer, in a phone interview.

The Fayetteville, Ark.-based fast-casual brand opened 21 restaurants in 2019, with 18 of those franchised and three company-owned. The company plans to open 31 units over the next year, Rothschild said, both domestically and internationally. The company has six franchised units in the United Kingdom and two in Kuwait in the Middle East.

The two prototypes for stand-alone units are a 2,400-square-foot restaurant with capacity for 80 inside and a patio and 2,800 square feet with capacity for 100 inside and additional 30 patio seats.

Read the full story at Nation’s Restaurant News:

QSR Magazine | Slim Chickens opens milestone 100th location

By In the News

The past 12 months have been a banner year for the booming franchise concept.

Just six years into franchising, Slim Chickens has opened its 100th location.

The past 12 months have been a banner year for the booming franchise concept. Slim Chickens, which features dine-in and drive-through in the “better chicken” segment, celebrated nearly 20 franchise openings, launched its first food truck and expanded into new markets including Colorado, North Dakota and Memphis, Tennessee.

As the energy behind the brand heats up, experienced multi-unit franchise groups and private equity are taking notice. In 2019 alone, Slim Chickens inked eight multi-unit agreements totaling 80 units, bringing its development pipeline to over 350 locations. The brand also attracted an equity investment from 10 Point Capital, the private equity firm behind segment leader Tropical Smoothie Café.

“The momentum behind our brand is outstanding. We are flying past the 100-unit mark. As we look to next year, we have at least 30 franchise openings planned and exciting multi-unit franchise deals in the works,” says Executive Director of Franchise Development Jackie Lobdell. “We’re excited to surpass expectations as groups continue to take notice of our red-hot and differentiated brand, streamlined operations, strong unit economics and unmatched training program.”

Read the full story at QSR Magazine:

Global Franchise Magazine | Slim Chickens to continue U.K. expansion with Bristol location

By In the News
Slim Chickens to continue U.K. expansion with Bristol location

The “better-chicken brand” has plans to take a greater hold of the U.K.’s chicken market, with its sixth franchise location in the country.

The average chicken fan in the U.K. might think of Nando’s when it comes to getting their poultry fix, but that could soon be set to change, as American favorite Slim Chickens opens its sixth restaurant in the country – with many more still to come.

The restaurant, to be opened by Slim Chickens’ U.K. franchise partner, Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG), is planned to open this winter in Bristol, England. This will add to Slim Chickens’ already impressive portfolio of nearly 100 restaurants, and go toward the brand reaching its goal of 600 locations worldwide.

BRG has plenty of experience in the food and beverage franchising space, having also worked with Giraffe, Giraffe Stop, and Ed’s Easy Diner.

“When looking to bring a better-chicken brand across the pond, Slim Chickens was in a league of its own,” said Tom Crowley, CEO of BRG. “From its high-quality product to the passionate executive team, we knew it was the right fit and would resonate with British diners.”

Read the full story at Global Franchise Magazine:

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Slim Chickens planning to open 100th restaurant in December

By In the News
Fayetteville-based chicken restaurant chain Slim Chickens expects to open its 100th restaurant in December and has 350 locations under development.

Where exactly the location will be is still up in the air, as several projects will be nearing completion at the same time. The company said the new restaurants are all part of an aggressive multiunit growth plan. Slim Chickens intends to increase its presence in key markets with the target of opening 600 stores in the next 10 years.

Slim Chickens currently operates 85 stores in 14 U.S. states, two in Kuwait and five in the United Kingdom. The expansion will initially focus on the South, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast regions and, with current development deals considered, will cover 23 states.

Jackie Lobdell, the company’s executive director of franchise development, said the company is on track to open more than 30 stores in 2020 with a target of opening 50 stores each year after that.

Read the full story at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: | Big franchise growth ahead for Slim Chickens

By In the News
Big franchise growth ahead for Slim Chickens

Slim Chickens has a goal to hit 600 locations in the next decade and is making fast track on the initiative with seven multi-unit franchise agreements totaling 71 units for this year.

The fast casual brand plans to open its 100th restaurant in December and launch at least 30 locations in 2020, according to a press release. The brand is focusing its expansion on southern, midwestern, mid-Atlantic and northeastern states in the near term and has 350 locations in development across 14 states and three continents.

“We are in the perfect position to be aggressive with our franchise growth strategy,” said Jackie Lobdell, executive director of franchise development for Slim Chickens, in the release. “We offer attractive unit level economics, an exceptional support system, streamlined operations and an unmatched training program. Given the incredible momentum behind the franchise opportunity today, we’re ready to expand with experienced multi-unit operators.”

Read the full story at

FOOD & WINE: Best Food In Arkansas

By In the News

We are honored to be considered Arkansas’ favorite fast food restaurant, according to Food & Wine. We love you too Arkansas. Below is a link to the article, scroll down to see the full list.