Slim Chickens Started Their Successful Franchise In A Garage!

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Slim Chickens Started Their Successful Franchise In A Garage!


Chicken, Chicken, and Chicken! It is by no means a NEW trend or concept.

When it comes to opening a successful chicken restaurant be it fast food, fast casual, or casual it’s what you have to do it that will stand out it from the competition.

Let’s face it Kentucky Fried Chicken’s “special recipe” is the for its longevity!

That’s exactly what the owner’s of Slim Chickens did, created personal recipes for their chicken selections and dipping sauces and dressings.

Though their recipes can be a reason for the success of Slims Chicken they also started off with customer service being of the utmost importance.

People will return when the food is great but if the service is too customers will definitely come back more often.

The two founders of Slim Chickens started their company, by cooking chicken and experimenting with recipes in Greg Smart’s (one of the owner’s) garage.

“Basically, our so-called ‘focus groups’ were beer drinking parties,” said co-founder Greg Smart. “We started with a turkey fryer and a bunch of friends trying out recipes.”

“That’s really where we developed our dipping sauces and our breading and our cook times,” Smart said. “Once we got that down, we thought, ‘OK, we’re ready. Let’s find a place to start.”

A garage is where they perfected, hand-breaded chicken tenders, Buffalo wings, and handmade dipping sauces, it’s their restaurants that keep their loyal fans coming back…over and over again.

They are one of the fastest growing concepts in the rapidly expanding chicken segment of fast-casual restaurants.

Slim Chickens, is about to open their 50th restaurant as well as turn 14 years old! They continue to pursue their goal to grow to more than 600 restaurants in the next ten years.

Slim Chickens, was started by Arkansas natives, Greg Smart and Tom Gordon. The original one opened in Fayetteville in February 2003. The company currently operates restaurants in 10 states and in 2016, the company announced plans for International expansion, with a multi-unit franchise deal planned for the Middle East and North Africa regions beginning with a restaurant set to open in Kuwait this spring.

They specialize in “life-changing” fresh chicken tenders and wings, cooked-to-order and served with a variety of homemade dipping sauces. The menu consists of sandwiches, salads, wraps, chicken & waffles, and side items like fried mushrooms, pickles, and okra. They also have deserts that they rotate and serve in Mason jars.


They credit their guests, franchisees, and team members with much of their success!

“OUR ROOTS RUN DEEP IN THE DELTA WHERE FOOD IS HONEST, MEALS ARE SOCIAL, AND THE DOOR IS ALWAYS OPEN.”

Some Background  on the Franchise Owners

Smart and fellow co-founder Ryan Hodson (who left the company in 2012), did not have restaurant experience, but enlisted the help of their friend Tom Gordon.

Gordon was a former financial planner who, in a slumping economy, abandoned his profession and spent four years running restaurants in Little Rock and Los Angeles.

Gordon had just enough experience at the time to help Smart and Hodson create processes for things like running the kitchen, creating customer service policies, and scheduling employees to get the place off the ground.

Both Smart and Gordon admitted it was slow going at first.

“Sales were slow as molasses,” Smart said. “But the light at the end of the tunnel was, they were going up about 5 percent every month. We were so focused on customer service that people kept coming back, and word of mouth started to spread.”

Through its first year in business, the company built the foundation of the menu based on fresh chicken tenders that had never been frozen.

They cooked everything to order, including appetizers, wings, salads and wraps. They even made all their dipping sauces from scratch.

Serving fresh, made-to-order food is still central to the philosophy of Slim Chickens, and that original menu is still largely the same today.

Do YOU have some food ideas and recipes? Perfect them try them out on your friends and family, you never know what can happen.

Many business ideas begin in a room in a house, even in the garage!

Want help discovering a restaurant idea?

Don’t have restaurant experience?

Contact us TODAY and we can get you started in the right direction.

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