Since its debut in 1977, Bojangles has cemented itself as a Southern fixture — and for the most part, the South is where it has remained ... until now. The once-regional fast food chain aims to open 270 new locations by the end of 2024. For now, that's all the time frame that fans have been given, but the chain promises that its trademark fried chicken and from-scratch biscuits are well on their way to fans across the United States.
Bojangles currently boasts more than 800 American locations, but the restaurants are heavily concentrated in the Southeast, particularly North Carolina (home of the flagship Bojangles), South Carolina, and Georgia for a net scope of fewer than 20 states. In many ways, the chain's physical expansion has already begun. 2023 alone saw the opening of 40 new restaurants for a total of 42 since 2020. According to Brooks Speirs, Vice President of Franchise Sales, Bojangles has also been working on streamlining its kitchen operations to maximize employee efficiency and simplify workload, an effort to offset the very palpable impact of the nationwide labor shortage, via QSR.
Bojangles has already tested the new store design in more than 10 restaurants across Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Ohio to wildly successful figures. Some of these new stores have even been outfitted with "Biscuit Theatres" — a see-through window near the checkout counter where customers can watch their biscuits being made using all 49 steps of Bojangles' biscuit-making process.
A Taste Of The South Coming To Fans Nationwide
In light of resiliently high inflation, it might not seem like a great time for fast food chains to embark on radical expansion plans. But, recent industry trends suggest otherwise. Taco Bell recently dropped a 10-item value menu that has fans excited (and divided). On a larger scale, chicken has been overshadowing burgers and fries in the fast food sphere in a movement that has been blossoming (and eventually erupting) since at least 2017. Popeye's chicken sandwich went viral in 2019, and NYC's first Raising Cane's location opened in Times Square last summer.
Bojangles' CEO Jose Armario notes the market demand for chicken in an official statement when discussing the chain's expansion, which the company will reportedly lean on franchisees to execute. Now, Bojangles is pushing its chicken-focused menu and catering to anticipated consumer demand by increasing its focus on boneless offerings and promoting items like chicken tenders and a signature chicken sandwich. The menu has also recently grown to include the new Bo-Berry Biscuit, milkshake flavors, lemonades, and teas — an enterprise that Bojangles has said is part of an effort to appeal to a younger audience. Looking forward, Bojangles is open to exploring non-traditional locations like travel plazas, universities, food trucks, dining halls, and airports.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.