Slim Chickens opening in Charlotte postponed until next year



Arkansas-based Slim Chickens will open up to 15 restaurants in Charlotte, Piedmont Triad and Fayettville, as well as Rock Hill and Columbia, SC

Thin chickens

While the debut of a South Carolina chicken chain is delayed until next year, company officials have indicated where four more restaurants will open in the Carolinas.

Based in Arkansas Thin chickens planned to open its first NC restaurant next month in Charlotte, home of Bojangles and where competition is intensifying between chicken chains.

However, the college canteen at 5535 Prosperity Ridge Rd. Will now open in late January or early February, said Jonathan Crumpler, co-owner of the Slim Chickens franchise. He said the delay was indirectly linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as staff shortages and supply chain issues.

“There are certainly challenges in the market, but they are not unique to us,” he said.

However, the first opening does not dampen Slim Chickens’ expansion plans in the Carolinas.

Four more stores, Crumpler said, are expected to open in the first half of next year:

7550 Garners Ferry Road. in Columbia, SC, will open in late spring. Construction is expected to start at the end of this year.

5132 Old Charlotte Highway. at Shoppes in Hanfield Village at Indian Trail will open near Memorial Day.

948 Concord Pkwy. N. à Concord will be opening its doors near Memorial Day.

A Pembroke restaurant will open at the end of the summer.

Break Bread Ventures, owned by Crumpler, Rob Bryan and Josh Frankel, plans to open at least 30 Slim Chickens in the Carolinas and Virginia, the Observer previously reported. No less than 15 stores will open in the Charlotte market.

Hiring for the first store is expected to begin later this year for up to 90 employees, Crumpler said.

Learn more about thin chickens

Slim Chickens, a fast food restaurant chain founded 18 years ago, is known for its cooked-to-order meals and 17 homemade dips. The menu includes chicken fillets, salads, sandwiches, chicken and waffles and chicken wings.

Each restaurant measures approximately 24,000 square feet and includes a 400-square-foot all-season indoor dining area with about a half-dozen TVs, Crumpler said. Each location will also have drive-thru and third-party delivery available.

Crumpler said a comprehensive analysis of demographics, daytime populations, schools and colleges, and traffic helps determine site selection.

According to the company, Slim Chickens has more than 125 establishments in the United States, Kuwait and the United Kingdom, with around 500 restaurants in development.

“Fierce” Chicken Contest

Slim Chickens isn’t the only chicken chain vying for Charlotte Market customers.

Last week, Chick-fil-A opened a restaurant southeast of Charlotte in Mint Hill, just months after opening a store in Belmont, west of Charlotte. Chick-fil-A too reopened a renovated store last month with a drive-thru-only store at 1540 E. Woodlawn Rd.

Last month, Los Angeles-based Dave’s Hot Chicken announced plans to open 12 franchises in Charlotte.

The news follows Bojangles’ plans to open nearly 90 stores, with debuts in Ohio, New York and Texas, and a return to Orlando, Florida. Other stores are also planned in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

Slim Chickens franchise owners have called the competition “fierce,” admitting there is a lot of competition, but say there is still plenty of room as demand continues to grow.

Slim Chickens is not yet a household name in the Carolinas, “but it will be,” Frankel said in an interview with The Observer.

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Catherine Muccigrosso is the retail journalist for The Charlotte Observer. An award-winning journalist, she worked for several newspapers and McClatchy for over a decade.

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