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Slim Chickens Plots Expansion in Fast- Casual Space

Nov 23, 2021

Slim Chickens Development Co., a fast-casual franchisor, has signed several recent developments that will expand the 151-unit Slim Chickens chain, which features dine-in and drive-thru.

The company in November announced a deal for 10
locations in the Dallas area, with franchisees Farouk Jamal and Ali Poonja, after a 32-unit deal in September for cities in Arizona with Barnett Management Co.

Atlanta-based investment firm 10 Point Capital bought a significant stake in the Fayetteville, Ark. Based Slim Chickens concept in 2019, when it had just over 80 units. Jackie Lobdell, Slim Chickens’ vice president of franchise development, said in an interview, said, “Slim Chickens is in the better-chicken segment and specializes in chicken tenders and fries at our core.

“We focus on food,” she said. “We’re all about the food. we started in Fayetteville, Ark., 2003. We started franchising about eight years ago.”

Of the brand’s current 151 restaurants, nine of them are company-owned, Lobdell said. Lobdell said the brand seeks seasoned restaurant operators as franchisees, especially among franchisees of other brands that are looking to diversify into the chicken segment.

The pandemic and supply-chain issues did stall some development this year, she said. “We had planned this year for 45 to 50” new restaurants. “I think we’re going to be closer to between 40 and 45,” Lobdell said. “So it did have an effect, but we’re full steam ahead.”

Slim Chickens tenders are offered with a choice from among 17 dipping sauces. The brand is also known for its desserts offering in Mason jars.

The brand this fall opened its larges campus location at Liberty University I Lynchburg, Va.

“That is one of our largest campus locations,” Lobdell said. “It’s actually a freestanding building but on campus property and interestingly enough the president of Sodexo … went out to take a look at it because our numbers were so high.”

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