Franchise Has Expanded to 225 Locations in 17 States and Expects More Grand Openings in 2023
The Chicken Salad Chick franchise expanded by 24 locations in 2022… and that’s just for starters. Chicken Salad Chick CEO Scott Deviney expects even more of the fast-casual restaurants to open this year.
Entrepreneurs see tremendous upside from investing in the Chicken Salad Chick franchise because of its recent strong performance. Last year Chicken Salad Chick topped $306.8 million in system-wide sales, representing a 20% bump over 2021. It has notched system-wide sales growth of 46% since 2020.
Perhaps more important to potential franchisees, the average unit volume hit (AUV) reached more than $1.29 million in 2022. That set a new record for Chicken Salad Chick, which was founded in 2008 in Auburn, Ala.
Chicken Salad Chick Locations
The fast-casual restaurant franchise, which moved to Atlanta two years ago, currently has 225 locations in 17 states. It’s pushing west into Texas, Colorado and New Mexico, with 24 signed franchise agreements that will lead to the development of 38 new restaurants over the next couple of years.
Deviney gives credit where it’s due – to his dedicated franchisees. ”I’m proud of our team’s continued focus on the mission and values. They deliver Chicken Salad Chick’s signature dining experience and keep our customers returning time and again.”
That growing customer base and refinements to the franchise have enticed many entrepreneurs to sign on with Chicken Salad Chick. “In 2023, we plan to open 35 restaurants in Southeast, Midwest and Southwest markets,” Deviney says. “And of course, we’ll stay true to our purpose with smart, disciplined growth that maximizes efficiency while serving fresh, delicious, made-from-scratch food in communities we care deeply about.”
Latest Franchise Innovations
One recent efficiency assist from corporate was the implementation of a back-office food and labor cost management tool. This new software helps franchisees keep their labor on point and minimize wasted food. Deviney says this was crucially important in 2022, when the costs of ingredients and workers’ pay soared with inflation.
Another boost came from a menu addition. Twenty-seven Chicken Salad Chick locations tested a new toasted sandwich in 2022, and more than 90% of customers said they would definitely purchase it on their next visits. With sales of the sandwich booming, the brand is putting it in every Chicken Salad Chick location this year. The sandwich complements the menu staples of more than a dozen chicken salad iterations (from traditional Southern styles to spicy and fruity versions) as well as side salads, soups, desserts and other sandwiches.
Pluses for Chicken Salad Chick Franchisees
Of course, Chicken Salad Chick has always offered franchisees some enticing perks. First and foremost, the business model is straightforward and easy to follow. The franchise’s experienced corporate team helps with site selection, construction, training, marketing, on-demand advice after opening, and, of course, developing a restaurant atmosphere that guests perceive as friendly and accommodating. Catering provides a secondary source of revenue for franchisees, and the Craving Credits loyalty program now has 1.3 million members – doubling in size since 2019.
Chicken Salad Chick ensures that franchisees take pleasure from their community service as well as their profits. Through the franchise’s Giving Card promotions, the franchise’s restaurant teams raise money for local food banks and the national nonprofit CURE Childhood Cancer. Since 2017, the company has raised $2.5 million-plus through the Chicken Salad Chick Foundation. In 2022, the Giving Card and Cookies for a Cure programs collected more than $515,000.
All of these Chicken Salad Chick accomplishments are being noticed. Last year it ranked second in Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers and Shakers, and it was No. 7 on Franchise Times’ Fast & Serious list. Chicken Salad Chick also made Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list last year.
Prerequisites for Franchisees
The ideal Chicken Salad Chick franchise owner possesses an entrepreneurial spirit, high energy and enthusiasm for the brand. They should be able to manage a team and have marketing skills. Franchise owners with restaurant experience are preferred.
Financial qualifications include a minimum net worth of $750,000 and liquid assets of at least $250,000. Franchisees can expect their initial investment to range from about $762,000 to $980,000, which includes a $50,000 initial franchise fee.
The franchise is wide open for opportunities in newly opened Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin. It is adding more sites in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia, where it already operates. To learn more about Chicken Salad Chick franchise opportunities, contact Carrie Evans, vice president of franchise development, at Carrie.Evans@chickensaladchick.com, call 214-733-0048 or visit http://www.chickensaladchick.com/franchising.