Slim Chickens: An extraordinary franchise opportunity | Global Franchise
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Sunday 5th February, 2023

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Slim Chickens: An extraordinary franchise opportunity

North America

Slim Chickens: An extraordinary franchise opportunity

Slim Chickens is the better-chicken brand that’s racking up awards – and signing development deals – left and right

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Slim Chickens is a better chicken brand with a simple mission: to make the best food with the best ingredients and bring those mouthwatering flavors to its fans across the world through franchising.

Slim Chickens first opened its doors in 2003. The brand has been franchising since 2014 and has set itself on a path filled with aggressive growth across the United States – even across with world with locations in England!

Landmark growth

The company notably set a goal to open 600 locations in the next ten years, and has made massive progress toward that goal despite the setbacks the restaurant industry has faced over the last few years.

Since setting this goal, Slim Chickens has opened 150 locations with plans to open 15 more this year and has already approved 60 sites for 2022. Not only that, the brand has also accumulated more than 700 signed development deals with 350 of those agreements being completed this year alone – making 2021 a landmark year of growth.

The flavors

Slim Chickens attracts top-notch franchisees for a variety of reasons: Amidst the ongoing “Chicken Wars,” it’s a top contender when it comes to flavors and financial possibilities. Flavor-wise, the brand boasts high-quality, fresh and flavorful foods.

Unlike most chicken brands that have limited menus, Slim Chickens’ offerings are expansive, including its classic chicken tenders, chicken and waffles, mac and cheese, and its legendary jarred desserts that can satisfy even the pickiest of sweet tooths. The brand also has 17 house-made signature sauces to choose from, leaving its loyal fans – also known as “Slimthusists” – with dozens of unique and satisfying combinations to try upon every visit.

The numbers

There’s a reason Slim Chickens is racking up awards, from “The Best Chicken Franchise to Buy” to “Top 100 Movers and Shakers.” Financially, Slim Chickens boasts an AUV of $3.4m* and a plethora of other impressive growth statistics.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, the brand saw more than 35 per cent systemwide revenue growth, about 14 per cent positive comp store sales growth and grew its franchise by an impressive 30 per cent. This year, the numbers are just as impressive, with double-digit comp-store sales growth over the growth it saw last year.

“Nothing can slow us down,” said Jackie Lobdell, vice president of franchise development at Slim Chickens. “We’re thrilled with the incredible growth we’ve seen this year and know our momentum will only continue as we enter 2022.”

The franchisees

If you’re looking for more proof of the brand’s success, just ask its current franchisees – many of them are Slimthusist converts themselves. Mike Sartwell owns Slim Chickens locations in North Dakota and Montana, one of which set a record for revenue during its very first week of being open. Sartwell says his expectations for franchising with the brand were quickly surpassed.

“Slim Chickens is a better-chicken brand with a simple mission: to make the best food with the best ingredients”

He tells the story of opening his first Slim Chickens restaurant in North Dakota – it was all hands on deck. What was expected to be a successful opening turned out to be even more of a grand slam than the team anticipated. Slim Chickens is known for its phenomenal training and franchisee support systems, so Sartwell wasn’t surprised when they sent a team out to ensure his staff was ready for launch.

“Our opening was massive, bigger than anything I’ve experienced before – and I’ve been in the industry for a while,” Sartwell said. “But it wasn’t the incredible preparation from the Slim Chickens corporate team that surprised me. It was when they committed more of their time and more of their people to our location beyond opening week to help us get through the surge. Not every brand is that dedicated to helping.”

Markets that are hot

Though Slim Chickens has seen massive growth over a short amount of time, the brand is still looking to expand to new horizons. Locally, the brand has its eye on several markets, including locations in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan, and the Northeastern United States.

Slim Chickens also has an interest in continued expansion internationally and is growing its presence in the United Kingdom beyond its 15 current and 13 planned locations, though it is open to expansion in other countries.

This brand is seeing explosive growth and is expected to continue down this path of incredible development, so interested parties should act while the brand still has markets available.

Slim Chickens is looking for qualified, experienced multi-unit operators as it continues to expand its presence. Though territories are selling quickly, Slim Chickens provides its franchisees plenty of room to grow.

Beyond its typical flexible footprint offerings, including dine-in and drive-thru locations, the brand is comfortable expanding into a variety of different non-traditional venues, including airports, stadiums, military bases, and universities. Lockdown your market while you can!

*AUV for group #1 franchised restaurants in the 2021 FDD

At a glance Slim Chickens

Year established: 2003
Number of franchised outlets: 150 units open
Location of units: U.S. and U.K.
Investment range: Variable
Minimum required capital: $3m – $12m
Contact: Jackie Lobdell: vice president of franchise development, jackie@slimchickens.com, 630-300-4798

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