Southern chicken chain expands into NC and SC, takes aim at Bojangles in Charlotte

·2 min read

Another Southern chicken chain is expanding into the Carolinas, including the home territory of Charlotte-based Bojangles.

Slim Chickens, based in Arkansas, said Tuesday it will open 30 locations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. That includes up to 15 restaurants in Charlotte, the Piedmont Triad area and Fayetteville, and also Rock Hill and Columbia, according to a company news release.

The first location to open in North Carolina will be in Charlotte’s University area at 5535 Prosperity Ridge Road on Nov. 1, the company told the Observer.

It’s the latest move in a rapidly expanding battle for customers among Southern chicken chains.

Bojangles recently announced it is opening at least 85 restaurants in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.

And another Southern chain, Biscuitville Fresh Southern, opened its second Charlotte-area location in January, driving competition with Bojangles, too, in a battle of scratch-made biscuits. Based in Greensboro, Biscuitville has more than 60 stores in North Carolina and Virginia.

Slim Chickens looks for big expansion

Slim Chickens, with a customer following that call themselves “Slimthusiasts,” makes cooked-to-order food and 17 house-made dipping sauces. The menu includes chicken tenders, salads, sandwiches, chicken and waffles, and chicken wings.

Break Bread Ventures, owned by Jonathan Crumpler, Rob Bryan and Josh Frankel, are behind the North Carolina franchise locations.

Slim Chickens opened its first fast-casual restaurant in 2003 in Fayettville, Arkansas, and now has more than 125 locations in the U.S., Kuwait and the United Kingdom, and another 500 restaurants in development, according to the company.

Bojangles is growing, too

Bojangles, known for its Southern fried chicken and scratch-made biscuits, said Tuesday that Chaac Foods Restaurants will open 40 Bojangles stores over the next seven years.

In March, Bojangles said franchisee Jeff Rigsby will open 45 stores, including new territory in Ohio, New York and Texas, the Observer previously reported.

The two expansion plans also will open more stores in Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.

Bojangles last year added two new states — Illinois and Arkansas — as part of 40 planned restaurants at Love’s Travel Stops.

The iconic Southern chain, founded in 1977 in Charlotte, has more than 750 locations in 11 Southeast states. The chain sold to two New York firms, Durational Capital Management and The Jordan Co., in 2019.