Southern fried-chicken chain Bojangles is an outlier among its kind—it doesn't have a super hyped fried chicken sandwich. This may explain why Bojangles may not be the first brand that comes to mind amid the national fried chicken craze. But the chain has announced plans for major expansion over the course of the next few years, a move that could spell a comeback to the national chicken scene.
The Bojangles brand currently spans 760 locations across the Southeast, and that number will grow by at least 85 new locations, according to two expansion deals the chain has made with new and existing operators in 2021.
The first deal, penned with Jeff Rigsby in March, will see the brand expand by 45 locations on a seven-year timeline. Rigsby is a veteran of the Bojangles brand, having been a franchisee for 20 years, and currently operates over 90 locations in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The new locations, plus 16 existing restaurants which he is acquiring, will make him the largest franchisee of the chain. The deal will also bring Bojangles restaurants to Columbus, Ohio for the very first time.
Another 40 locations have just been announced in the chain's latest deal with Chaac Foods Restaurants, an operator behind 135 Pizza Hut, as well as some Panda Express and Applebee's locations. Chaac Foods plans to open 20 new stores in Georgia, five in Tennessee, and 15 in the Orlando, Florida area, which will be a homecoming for the brand that's been absent from the southern city since 2015.
For more, check out This Beloved Pizza Chain Is Opening 200 New Locations This Year, and don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.