Slim Chickens signs second franchise deal as it continues to push ahead with roll out

November 30, 2020

Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) has signed a second franchise partner for its US-hatched, fast-casual chicken brand Slim Chickens.

The new deal between Boparan and franchisee KK Restaurants SW will see the group open five Slim Chicken restaurants across the south west of England, with the first due to launch in Exeter next month.

 
It will be the tenth Slim Chickens restaurant in the UK and comes hot on the heels of the chain’s largest opening to date​ at Manchester’s Trafford Centre earlier this month.

KK Restaurants SW has experience rolling out restaurant brands in the south west region, having previously signed deals with Pizza Hut Delivery and Costa Coffee.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

“Slim Chickens is a scalable brand with bags of potential, and we are delighted to be partnering with BRG to bring better chicken to customers in the south west,” says Simon Wright of KK Restaurants SW.

This is the second franchise agreement for Slim Chickens in the UK.

The first was signed with JRK Restaurants in February​ as part of plan to open five restaurants under the brand along the south coast in the next four years.

Slim Chickens was founded by Tom Gordon and Greg Smart in Arkansas in 2003 and now trades from more than 100 US restaurants.

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BRG signed a master franchise agreement with the brand for the UK and Ireland in 2018 and has since opened restaurants in London, Cardiff, Bristol and Birmingham.

“We are pleased to have secured a franchise partner as experienced as KK Restaurants SW,” says Judd Williams, BRG’s franchise director.

“This supports our ambitious growth plans to roll-out the Slim Chickens brand across the UK.”

By James McAllister

Source: Big Hospitality

Slim Chickens begins south coast expansion with Southampton launch

July 27, 2020

The first of five planned franchise-run Slim Chickens restaurants for the south coast will open within Southampton’s popular in WestQuay Shopping Centre next month.

 

The opening follows the announcement earlier this year by brand owner Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) ​that it had signed a franchise deal with London-based franchisee JRK Restaurants, which already has interests within the food and hospitality franchise sectors, to open five sites of the ‘better chicken’ brand.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

The move is part of the BRG’s plans to accelerate the growth of the Slim Chickens brand, which now operates seven restaurants in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff and Kent since its launch in the UK two years ago. There are plans to expand the rand further with more cities being targeted in the future.

“We are delighted to partner with JRK in what is a significant move for everyone associated with the Slim Chickens brand,” Judd Williams, says BRG’s franchise director.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“As a result of this new signing, we have taken the first steps in our ambitious sub-franchise plans to fast track the roll out of Slim Chickens and introduce the brand to more towns and cities across the UK.”

More company-owned Slim Chickens are likely to open across the UK as well following BRG’s purchase of Italian restaurant chain Carluccio’s​ earlier this year.

BRG purchased 30 Carluccio’s restaurants as part of the deal, with speculation at the time that it plans to convert around 10 of these to Slim Chickens.

Source: Big Hospitality

Chicken chain opens talks with potential franchisees aimed at accelerating UK roll-out

January 31, 2020

Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) is poised to enter into talks with potential franchise partners in a move aimed at expediting the growth of its Slim Chickens brand.

The company currently operates six stores – which it claims are all trading above expectations – with a seventh planned for Bluewater shopping centre in Kent next month.

 
But it reckons there is scope to roll out sites even quicker and is keen to engage with new partners capable of accelerating its growth.

Laurie Mcilwee, chairman of BRG, said: “Since signing the master franchise for the UK and Ireland, we have successfully launched six stores and all of them are trading beyond even our own expectations.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

“Based on this success and how the UK has embraced Slim’s as a brand they love, we are very ambitious about its future growth potential. We therefore see partnering with individuals or consortia of investors as the ideal way to accelerate the roll-out of a highly profitable, uncomplicated brand.”

BRG insists simplicity is key to the brand’s popularity. The Slim Chickens’ menu is straightforward to execute and leans on a list of high-quality ingredients using house recipes.

Trained team members use a decade-old process to marinade and lock in moisture and every meal is cooked to order, ensuring maximum flavour in every bite.

The menu comprises chicken tenders, wings, sandwiches and salads as well as a host of quintessentially American sides, like mac and cheese, fried pickles and hand-spun shakes.

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Judd Williams, BRG’s franchise director, added: “There is no doubt that the momentum behind Slim’s is rapidly gathering pace as we’ve proven both the concept itself and the opportunity for fast-casual, better chicken in the UK market.

“Slim Chickens offers a differentiated brand in an exciting segment, attractive unit level economics, an exceptional support system, streamlined operations and an unmatched training program. We therefore look forward to commencing discussions on exciting multi-unit opportunities with the right partners.”

By ANDREW SEYMOUR

Source: Food Service Equipment Journal

Slim Chickens to replace Ed’s Diner at Bluewater Shopping Centre

January 23, 2020

A new southern fried chicken restaurant is set to open at Bluewater shopping centre. The Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) will convert their Ed’s Diner, located in the upper mall by the Showcase Cinema, into a Slim Chickens, also owned by BRG.

It is set to rebrand next month, according to Big Hospitality .

 
Job adverts have been posted on Indeed for two kitchen team members and a front of house employee.

We could be seeing a lot more Slim Chickens in the UK as BRG, who used to run Giraffe in Bluewater too, look to expand the franchise this year.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

Slim Chickens prides itself on fresh hand-breaded chicken using homemade recipes cooked to order and served in a “friendly Southern hospitality”.

The menu features wings, tenders, chicken sandwiches, wraps and salads.

As a meal, these come with fries, Texas toast, bottomless soda and a choice from a variety of house sauces including garlic parmesan and cayenne ranch.

Meals are priced from £7.45 to £13.45 if you are really hungry.

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You can also get a variety of sides and milkshakes, with beer fans rejoicing at Camden Hells for £3 with a meal.

All this topped off with a jar dessert containing different variations of brownie if there’s still any room.

Founders Greg and Tom launched their first Slim Chickens venture back in 2003 in Fayetteville, Arkensas.

They now have more than 80 branches in America and have opened six UK stores in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Brunswick, Soho and James Street in London.

Bluewater is set to be number seven and the first of its kind in Kent.

By Andy Robinson Senior Reporter

Source: Kent Live

Slim Chickens Continues International Expansion with Sixth Restaurant in the United Kingdom

November 30, 2019

Slim Chickens, a leading fast casual franchise which features dine-in and drive-through in the “better chicken” segment, announced today that it is set to open a new location in Bristol, its sixth location in the United Kingdom, this winter.

The better-chicken brand has nearly 100 locations across the United States, the United Kingdom and Kuwait, and is known for its passionate group of followers in the markets that it has locations in. With more than 350 units in development, the fast-growing brand is well on its way to reaching its goal of 600 restaurants.

 
“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 Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG), the franchise partner of Slim Chickens in the United Kingdom and a multi-unit, multi-concept group. “From its high-quality product to the passionate executive team, we knew it was the right fit and would resonate with British diners.”

Highly regarded in the restaurant industry, BRG operates more than 60 restaurants within four brands across the United Kingdom. In addition to the five open Slim Chickens locations in the United Kingdom and the Bristol location in development, BRG is set to open five to eight additional locations in 2020 to complete their multi-unit franchise agreement.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

“BRG is exactly the type of experienced multi-concept franchisees that we’re looking for as we expand into new territories, both globally and domestically in the United States,“ said Jackie Lobdell, executive director of franchise development at Slim Chickens. “Tom and his team’s passion for the brand and deep operational experience reflect the qualities we look for in franchise partners.”

The brand prides itself on its cooked-to-order fresh food and strong devoted fanbase, also known as “Slimthusiasts.” Slim Chickens has distinguished itself in the “better chicken” segment by offering high-quality food and 17 house-made dipping sauces, allowing customers to enjoy a different flavor profile with each visit. Its menu is broader than many in the segment, offering chicken tenders, fresh salads, sandwiches, chicken and waffles, chicken wings and unique side items. Fans also resonate with the southern contemporary look and feel and open and inviting layout of Slim Chickens restaurants, which speak to the hospitality mindset that anchors the brand.

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In July, Slim Chickens attracted an equity investment from 10 Point Capital, the private equity firm behind segment leader Tropical Smoothie Café.

The Slim Chickens franchise opportunity differentiates itself with prime markets available for multi-unit development, a passionate leadership team and world-class franchisee support system. As Slim Chickens expands, it is awarding franchise opportunities to qualified, experienced and passionate multi-unit groups looking to add a dynamic segment to their portfolio.

Source: Franchising

Boparan continues Slim Chickens expansion

November 8, 2019

Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) is to open its sixth Slim Chickens restaurant, in Bristol.

The company is believed to be converting its Giraffe site in the Cabot Circus shopping centre to the fried chicken brand for a 29 November opening.

 
Slim Chickens was founded in Fayetteville, Arkansas in 2003 and has expanded to over 80 US locations.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

BRG has held the franchise rights in the UK since 2018.

It has opened locations in London, Cardiff and Birmingham, with several sites replacing BRG’s existing​ Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner restaurants.

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“We have had a fantastic response to our brand and our chicken in the locations we have opened so far and we hope to create more ‘Slimthusiasts’ with the amazing people of Bristol with our new restaurant,” says Tom Crowley, CEO at BRG.

BRG says it has “ambitious growth plans” for the brand, with more restaurants planned to open in key cities across the UK in 2020.

By Sophie Witts

Source: Big Hospitality

Slim Chickens Announces Equity Investment from 10 Point Capital

July 17, 2019

Slim Chickens, the fast casual franchise in the “better chicken” restaurant segment, announced today an equity investment from 10 Point Capital, an Atlanta-based private equity firm. The investment will continue to fuel Slim Chickens expansion with a goal of opening 600 new locations over the next 10 years. Slim Chickens currently has over 80 locations across 14 states, the United Kingdom and Kuwait with more than 350 locations under development agreements to date. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

 
“Greg Smart and I started Slim Chickens over 16 years ago with a mission to bring Southern hospitality and fresh, high-quality chicken to a fast-casual setting,” said Tom Gordon, Co-Founder and CEO. “Our growth with new franchise agreements has been exceptional in the first half of 2019. In the past quarter alone, Slim Chickens has signed 60 new restaurant agreements with impressive, experienced multi-unit franchisees. With 10 Point Capital’s unique support and expertise, we believe we have the resources necessary to achieve our goal of 600 stores in the next 10 years.”

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Slim Chickens opened its fourth UK location in Birmingham, England earlier this month and will open new restaurants in Southaven, MS and Owasso, OK in the next several weeks followed by a series of new openings across the Southeast and Midwest U.S. in the fall. “Our growth is really starting to reach the velocity we’ve been working towards,” said Sam Rothschild, COO.

“At 10 Point Capital, we help founders create dominant franchise brands, and Slim Chickens is certainly a vibrant, distinctive brand,” said Tom Wells, Managing Partner at 10 Point Capital. “Whether in Little Rock, Arkansas or Central London, we found in our diligence that Slim Chickens has quickly established a loyal following in whatever market it enters. With a strong foothold in the U.S., United Kingdom and Kuwait, Slim Chickens is poised for significant growth.”

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“We had a number of potential private equity suitors over the past few years, but we were committed to aligning with a company that would be able to drive more impact than just financing,” said Seth Jensen, CFO. “Ultimately, we chose 10 Point Capital due to their expertise in franchising and the shared vision for the brand.”

Slim Chickens is currently seeking single and multi-unit franchisees to open locations in the Southeastern, Midwestern and Northeast U.S.

Source: Yahoo Finance UK

Slim Chickens Adapts to Expand Brand Overseas

February 3, 2019

When I last talked with Sam Rothschild, COO of Slim Chickens, the Southern fast-casual concept had just signed a major franchise agreement with Kuwait-based Alghanim Industries to expand in Kuwait and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa.

Fast forward two-plus years, and Slim Chickens’ second Kuwait restaurant has just opened in the Jazeera airport terminal and the brand is also in the midst of expanding in the United Kingdom through another international franchise agreement. It’s a lot of action for a brand that wasn’t actively looking to grow outside the United States and there’s been some useful learning along the way.

In the U.K., where Slim Chickens recently opened its second London restaurant to go along with a unit in the Wales capital of Cardiff, master franchisee Boparan Restaurant Group is quickly adapting to serve convenience-minded customers.

“Delivery is huge in London,” says Rothschild, something they didn’t initially anticipate. “So when they were building the second and third locations, they built in more space to accommodate drivers” from UberEats, which has been active in the city since 2016.

Boparan has big plans for Slim Chickens, expecting to open 50 units throughout the U.K. Already a successful operator and franchisor of its own brands such as Ed’s Easy Diner and Giraffe World Kitchen, Boparan sought out Slim Chickens because “they wanted a chicken concept” and the Fayetteville, Arkansas, franchise was the best fit, says Rothschild.

A challenge that’s emerged since signing the agreement with Boparan in early 2018 has been navigating the U.K.’s ban on genetically modified crops. The rule prohibits the importing of any GMO products, right down to “the traceability of an ingredient in a sauce,” points out Rothschild.

“So we have to work with our current suppliers and also with local manufacturers in the U.K. to get as close as they can to our ingredients,” he continues. A team from Slim Chickens corporate also traveled to London in the lead-up to the opening to ensure the menu of grilled chicken tenders, wings and dipping sauces passed taste tests.

In Kuwait, delivery is also proving to be big business, and Alghanim is working on its own strategic plan to integrate third-party deliver services into its operations, Rothschild says. Additionally, stresses Rothschild, “You’ve gotta have your legal ducks in a row.”

Slim Chickens hadn’t secured its international trademark and intellectual property protections before signing the deal with Alghanim, and while it eventually worked out, the process took longer than anticipated.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

“You’ve gotta have the right lawyers,” Rothschild laments.

All these experiences have pushed Slim Chickens executives to think more strategically about the future of international expansion for the brand.

“We’re going to have to make a decision as a company and as a brand, we’re going to have to make some commitments on infrastructure, more than what we’ve done,” if Slim Chickens is going to continue expanding its global footprint, says Rothschild. But at the same time, “We really don’t want to take our eye off our base business.”

Decisions on investing in international franchise sales and support will likely come in 2020. In the meantime, says Rothschild, Slim Chickens will continue its open-minded approach as it learns every day from its global counterparts.

Source: Franchise Times

This Is How You Can Get Your Hands On Free Chicken In Cardiff This Weekend

November 25, 2018

Renowned US brand Slim Chickens is winging its way to the streets of Cardiff this weekend to give consumers an “unmistakable flavour” of the American South.

The cult chicken restaurant, Slim Chickens, which is set to open in Cardiff next month, will be handing out free samples of the brand’s chicken tenders alongside its iconic dipping sauces, which come in 13 flavours including Garlic Parmesan, Mango Habanero, Honey BBQ, Blue Cheese and Sriracha Garlic to name a few.

Food fans will be able to treat their taste buds to moreish chicken and finger-licking sauces on the Hayes on November 23 and 24.

Slim Chickens will open its new 92-seater restaurant in St David’s on the 18th December.

The restaurant’s menu will feature freshly prepared signature chicken tenders, chicken sandwiches and chicken wings, as well as quintessential Southern sides, including mac and cheese, fried pickles and Texas toast. For those with a sweet tooth, there will also be milkshakes, fried pies and jar desserts on offer.

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Adding to the restaurant’s Southern ambience will be screenings of traditional American sports along with modern blues background music.

The flagship Cardiff launch comes six months after Slim Chickens opened its first UK restaurant in London with the world’s first dippable billboard.

Thanks to this success, UK franchise owners Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) are now aiming to roll out the American restaurant chain to other cities across the UK next year.

CEO of BRG Tom Crowley said:

“We are so excited to be bringing Slim Chickens’ unique American flavours, ambience, and hospitality to a whole new Welsh audience.

“Before the December launch, we wanted to give the people of Cardiff a sneak peek into our offering.

“With 13 moreish flavours to choose from, which perfectly complement our mouth-watering chicken, we think people will simply love our offering.”

Several launch parties and a promotional tour are planned for the Cardiff launch, so the brand is urging consumers to follow its social media channels @slimchickensuk for the latest updates and to download the ‘Slim Chickens UK’ app for a special treat when they officially open.

Source: Wales 247

American chicken chain Slim Chickens plans Liverpool opening

November 10, 2018

An American restaurant chain which specialises in hand-breaded chicken tenders, marinated wings and house sauces is planning to open in Liverpool. Slim Chickens, which has more than 70 outlets across the US, could be set to replace Ed’s Easy Diner on Lord Street.

Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) has submitted plans to Liverpool City Council for the fit out of Ed’s into the first Northern branch of Slim Chickens.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

If given the go-ahead, fowl fanatics can look forward to sampling Slim Chicken’s signature buttermilk marinated chicken tenders as well as chicken sandwiches and chicken wings.

Other items include Southern-style sides ‘mac and cheese’, fried pickles and Texas toast – with milkshakes, fried pies and jar desserts making up the sweet side of the menu.

Tom Gordon and Greg Smart founded Slim Chickens in Fayetteville, Arkansas in 2003.

BRG secured a UK franchise deal with Slim Chickens USA at the start of the year before launching a restaurant on London’s James Street in March – with a Cardiff branch expected to open before Christmas.

Related: This Is How You Can Get Your Hands On Free Chicken In Cardiff This Weekend

The group’s other food brands include Giraffe, Harry Ramsden, Fish Works and Ed’s Easy Diner.

Source: YM Liverpool