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Slim Chickens First Mall Location

Slim Chickens opens non-traditional mall location restaurant franchise in fast casual

Slim Chickens First Mall Location

Slim Chickens, an Arkansas-based restaurant chain that specializes in chicken tenders, is set to open Friday, Nov. 17, in the Orland Square Mall food court. The franchise is owned by Orland resident Faris Ballouta, whose family owns a popcorn shop in the mall along with a smoothie shop.

“This will be the first mall location in the country,” said Ballouta. “I wanted to bring a new chicken option to Chicago and working in the mall is in my comfort zone. The mall’s food court needed something new.”

He said the Orland store will feature fresh, hand-breaded tenders and 15 dipping sauces. Ballouta said he was looking for a new opportunity, heard about Slim Chickens, traveled to Arkansas to check out the brand and decided to bring its fourth location to Illinois and the first in the Chicago area. Others are in Peoria, Champaign and Bloomington as well as one that is being built in Plainfield.

“The whole menu is chicken and there’s not a better tasting chicken,” Ballouta said. He said the goal was to expand outside of the mall.

“If it succeeds, the plan is to open more locations,” he said. The Orland location will be open during mall hours and Ballouta said he was hiring about 15-20 employees.

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