AUBURN, Ala., Feb. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Chicken Salad Chick, the nation's only Southern inspired, fast casual chicken salad restaurant concept, announced today that it opened 37 new restaurants in key target markets throughout 2020 – including seven in Texas, five in Georgia, three in Louisiana, two in Arkansas, as well as its first location in Indiana – resulting in a 22% increase in unit count year-over-year. The fast-growing brand also signed nine franchise agreements to develop 23 new restaurants over the next several years in states such as North Carolina, Virginia and Louisiana. Notably, three of the nine new agreements were signed by existing franchise owners seeking to expand their established commitments with Chicken Salad Chick, reinforcing the brand's resilience and viable positioning within the fast casual space. In addition to this impressive growth, Chicken Salad Chick is reporting $175.1 million in systemwide sales, a +17.1% increase over 2019.
"This year will go down in history as one of the most challenging that the restaurant industry has ever faced; to say that we are deeply humbled and grateful for what we've been able to accomplish would be an understatement," said Scott Deviney, CEO of Chicken Salad Chick. "From feeding thousands of essential workers on the frontline to renting refrigerated trucks and delivering our chicken salad in bulk to local communities – none of our success would be possible without our creative and talented franchise owners, employees and corporate team, as well as our devoted and loyal guests. We are eternally thankful to every single person who supported our local restaurants, and we're looking forward to a successful year ahead."
Chicken Salad Chick attributes its united purpose of spreading joy, enriching lives and serving others as the driving force behind its ongoing growth and success through an unprecedented year. The brand donated more than 20,000 free meals to frontline workers in hospitals, police and fire departments, grocery stores and more. Then, with the closures of restaurant dining rooms across the country in early 2020, Chicken Salad Chick quickly mobilized its operations and pivoted to an off-premise dining model that included takeout, drive-thru, curbside pickup and third-party delivery at select locations to continue serving guests in local communities. For locations without prototypical drive-thrus, Chicken Salad Chick and its franchise owners instituted pop-up drive-thrus, as well as devised a community drop-off program where preorders of pre-portioned one-pound and half-pound containers of Chicken Salad Chick's 12 chicken salad flavors, called Quick Chicks, could be collected and then delivered in bulk to designated communities on a scheduled day. These grassroots efforts, deeply ingrained in the Chicken Salad Chick's brand DNA since the beginning, helped to fuel the fast casual concept's recovery and contributed to its overall system sales increases in 2020.
Throughout the year, Chicken Salad Chick continued to be recognized as a standout franchise system, being named one of QSR magazine's Best Franchise Deals and Fast Casual's Top 100 Movers & Shakers for the second and fourth consecutive year, respectively. The brand was also highlighted as one of Entrepreneur magazine's Top Food Franchises of 2020 and took home Franchise Times' highly competitive Deal of the Year Award for Brentwood Associates' acquisition of fast casual concept in November 2019. This compounding success has positioned the brand for accelerated expansion in 2021 as it plans to open 40 new restaurants in key markets across the Southeast and Midwest regions. Looking ahead, the company aims to have 50 new restaurant openings per year by 2022 to bolster its overarching goal of having 500 locations open and operating by the end of 2025.
Chicken Salad Chick continues to target states like Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Kansas and Nebraska for franchise development and is actively seeking individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit who possess high energy and enthusiasm about the brand, marketing skills and the ability to manage a strong team. Restaurant experience is preferred. Interested candidates should have a minimum net worth of $600,000 and liquid assets of at least $200,000. Franchisees can expect the initial investment to be approximately $562,000 – $740,000 with a $50,000 initial franchise fee.
About Chicken Salad Chick Chicken Salad Chick serves full-flavored, Southern-style chicken salad made from scratch and served from the heart. With more than a dozen original chicken salad flavors as well as fresh side salads, gourmet soups, signature sandwiches and delicious desserts, Chicken Salad Chick's robust menu is a perfect fit for any guest. Founded in Auburn, Alabama by Stacy and Kevin Brown, in 2008, Chicken Salad Chick has grown to more than 175 restaurants in 17 states. Today, under the leadership of Scott Deviney and the Chicken Salad Chick team, the brand is continuing its rapid expansion with both franchise and company locations. Chicken Salad Chick has received numerous accolades including rankings in Franchise Times' Fast & Serious and Fast Casual.com's top Movers and Shakers for the third consecutive year, QSR's Best Franchise Deals for the second consecutive year and Franchise Business Review's Top Food Franchises in 2020. See www.chickensaladchick.com for additional information.