After opening seven successful UK stores, Slim Chickens is ambitious about its future growth potential
With six stores already trading above expectations and a seventh opened earlier this month, Boparan Restaurant Group’s confidence that the UK was ready for Slim Chickens appears to have been well founded.
It was in March 2018 that Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) opened the first restaurant under its Master Franchise agreement with the American founders of the premium ‘better chicken’ brand and Slim Chickens is now continuing to successfully expand across the country.
Best customer experience
Laurie Mcilwee, Chairman of BRG, explains: “When we researched the better chicken offers in America, Slim’s was by far the best customer experience and for an operator, a highly profitable, uncomplicated model. Customers get fresh, cooked to order food quickly and at great value prices. It’s a simple proposition, wrapped in Southern hospitality and is proving to be a real winner.
“Since signing the Master Franchise for the UK and Ireland, we have successfully launched six stores and all of them are trading beyond even our own expectations. Based on this success and how the UK has embraced Slim’s as a brand they love, we are very ambitious about its future growth potential.”
The speed with which the brand has established itself in the UK might have something to do with the fact that Slim Chickens stands out in the fast-casual ‘better chicken’ segment.
With fresh ingredients in every restaurant, Slim Chickens offers diners 100 per cent All Natural, Buttermilk marinated, hand-breaded southern fried or grilled chicken tenders made fresh when ordered with a choice of 14 house-made dipping sauces for exceptional flavour, allowing fans to enjoy a different taste experience each time they visit and often spoiled for choice!
Or perhaps it’s just that the UK has never seen anything quite like the authentic taste of Arkansas and its renowned Southern US hospitality that Slim’s is bringing to more and more cities across the country.
Since its UK launch in London’s James Street, demand has been such that two further London sites have opened in Brunswick Centre and Soho, while Slim Chickens’ restaurants are now firmly established in Cardiff, Bristol and Birmingham. Slim’s seventh outlet has just opened within the popular Bluewater Shopping and Leisure destination.
Judd Williams of BRG says: “There are now over 100 outlets in the USA alone because Slim’s is loved for its combination of craveable food, a cool vibe with blues music playing and American sports on the screens, all served up with an extra touch of southern hospitality. Slimthusiasts know it’s a place where it’s comfortable for friends to socialise, where families are welcomed and where food is fresh, quick and reasonably priced.”
To accelerate UK expansion and keep up with the demands of Slim’s growing fan base - who call themselves ‘Slimthusiasts’ - BRG is poised to partner with like-minded investors who share an appetite for multiple units in prime locations.
Potential partners will quickly discover that simplicity is the key to the brand’s popularity. The entire concept came about one night in 2003 because of the founders Greg Smart and Tom Gordon’s simple craving for a quick, quality meal.
The Slim Chickens menu is simple to execute and leans on a simple list of high quality ingredients using house recipes crafted by founders Tom and Greg. Trained Team Members use a decade-old process to marinade and lock in moisture and every meal is cooked to order, ensuring mouth watering flavour in every bite.
The menu offers a feast of options, including chicken tenders, wings, sandwiches and salads, as well as a host of quintessentially American sides, like mac and cheese, fried pickles and hand-spun shakes. Customers also love that there are also countless ways to customise a meal, thanks to the wide range of house sauces, which is why Slimthusiasts keep coming back for more.
As well as an appetite for multiple units, potential partners will likely be either an existing experienced branded food and beverage franchisee looking to diversify their business or an individual or consortia of investors seeking to create their own business with a proven food brand.
Together with a passion for great food and hospitality, BRG would be most interested in entering talks with those who can offer the ability to source suitable locations, understand how to operate with excellence and deliver exceptional customer experiences, having put together the right team.
And unlike many others within the franchise arena, a partnership with Slim Chickens brings the opportunity to choose prime locations for multi-unit development, as well as the reassurance of joining forces with a passionate and driven HQ leadership team with the ability to offer unrivalled franchisee support system.
Proven concept and opportunity
Judd adds: “There is no doubt that the momentum behind Slim’s is rapidly gathering pace. With six outlets already established and a seventh just opened, we’ve proven both the concept itself and the opportunity for fast-casual, better chicken in the UK market.
“We recognise the potential for accelerating the brand’s expansion and are therefore delighted to commence discussions on exciting multi-unit opportunities with the right partners. Slim Chickens offers a differentiated brand in an exciting segment, attractive unit level economics, an exceptional support system, streamlined operations and an unmatched training programme.
At a glance Slim Chickens
Number of franchised outlets:
Location of units:
USA, UK and Kuwait
sites from £450,000
Minimum required capital: