29 May Slim Chickens Opens First of Six Planned Locations in 2013-14
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.– Fayetteville-based restaurant chain Slim Chickens opened the first of six stores planned for 2013-14 earlier this month.
The company opened their first franchised location in Little Rock on May 6, and construction is also underway on stores in Texarkana, Hot Springs, as well as their first on-campus location inside the newly constructed Founders Hall at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Slim Chickens, which focuses on fresh, made-to-order chicken tenders, wings, salads, sandwiches, and wraps was founded in Fayetteville in 2003, and has grown from a small, single location in Fayetteville to operate eight restaurants across Arkansas and Oklahoma.
The Little Rock store was opened by long-time employee Rob Byford at 4500 W. Markham St. Byford is also planning to open a second restaurant in the Chenal Curve shopping center in West Little Rock, as well as a Hot Springs location in Fairgrounds Crossing Shopping Center in 2014.
“Rob has been an area director for Slim Chickens and a trusted friend for almost 10 years now,” said Tom Gordon, Slim Chickens CEO. “We couldn’t be happier to have him as a multi-unit franchisee.”
Byford opened and managed the Rogers, AR location for the majority of his time with Slim Chickens. For the past several years, he has lived in Little Rock where he served as the area director for Central and Northeast Arkansas locations.
“I’m extremely excited to be expanding Slim Chickens presence in Central Arkansas,” Byford said. “My wife and I have been looking for opportunities to open our own restaurant for a long time now.”
Things have been going extremely well in Little Rock so far. “That store has shattered first-month sales records for us,” said Slim’s Chief Marketing Officer Greg Smart. “Rob is doing a great job.”
The Texarkana location will be opened by hometown businessman Greg McKay at 4201 N. Stateline Road in June of 2013.
“I have been a fan of Slim Chickens food for several years,” McKay said. “I wanted to be the first to expand Slim Chickens into our growing market.”
Slim Chickens is also relocating their Rogers restaurant to a brand new facility at 2002 S. Promenade Boulevard, across from Starbucks in Pinnacle Hills. The new Rogers store should be open in mid-July.
Gordon said he feels like the secret to Slim’s recent growth is simple.
“It’s all about quality, fresh food, cooked to order, and great customer service. All our signature dipping sauces are made in-house,” Gordon said. “We know as soon as someone tries our food, though, they’re going to be hooked. It’s life changing.”
The new Arkansas stores are just the beginning of big things on the horizon for Slim Chickens, Gordon said. Slim Chickens is actively seeking qualified multi-unit franchisees in other markets to help continue to grow Slim Chickens presence around the region.
“We’re on the verge of really taking off right now,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of people ask us about franchising over the years, and we held off to this point, but it definitely feels like the time is right.”
The five new stores will bring the total number of stores for the Fayetteville based company to 13 total, including nine inside the state of Arkansas.
About Slim Chickens
Slim Chickens opened in 2003 in Fayetteville, Arkansas with a focus on serving fresh chicken tenders and wings cooked to order and served with handmade dipping sauces made from scratch. Since then, the restaurant has expanded to include eight stores in Arkansas and Oklahoma, with plans to open five additional stores in Arkansas and Texas in 2013. For franchising opportunities, call 479-935-4444.