Brand refresh drives sales and spurs national expansion for beloved Texas-based brand
Cowboy Chicken, known for its wood-fired rotisserie chicken and handmade sides, is introducing updated branding and a new restaurant prototype to rave reviews and strong sales. The new design puts the company’s famous rotisserie front and center and adds classic Americana features such as a cowboy mural wall, welcoming “Howdy” signage and other details that celebrate “food as honest as a handshake.”
The effort was led by branding consultant Kim Jensen-Pitts, who joined the company in April 2015 to refresh the iconic brand. Her extensive user research showed that while the food and value were strong positives, the brand needed updating. The company worked with St. Louis-based branding firm Propaganda Inc. to bring a new authentic “cowboy cool” brand strategy to life, along with a contemporary, stylish new logo that communicates the modern appeal of the brand’s flavorful, fresh and healthy menu offerings.
New interior design elements are an eclectic collection of brand-relevant illustrations, photographs and 3D artwork reproduced on mixed materials like metal, wood, rope, canvas and aged paper that create a welcoming, warm and rustic brand experience.
“Our research shows that guest counts at the newly designed stores are more than 30 percent higher than at stores in the same market with the older design elements, making our franchise offering even more attractive to qualified new franchisees who are key to growing the brand,” said Cowboy Chicken President and CEO Sean Kennedy. “Our next step is to remodel several existing stores to demonstrate how the redesign can positively affect same-store sales and customer retention, while remaining focused on what Cowboy Chicken has always done best: wood-fired rotisserie chicken and unique sides made from scratch.”
The new restaurant design rolled out in three recent Dallas-area openings, as well as in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Katy, Texas. Cowboy Chicken franchise owner and operator Jimmy Hajeer, who has locations in Forney and Waxahachie, Texas, opened his new prototype restaurant in Wylie, Texas, in May.
“Cowboy Chicken is a beloved brand in this part of Texas, and the guest response to our new look has been positive across the board. We are seeing tangible results that have exceeded our expectations and increased the value of our investment in the brand,” said Hajeer. “The ‘cowboy cool’ theme and the focus on chicken roasting over an open flame speak to the customer who comes for an authentic experience with delicious food and an inviting atmosphere.”
Cowboy Chicken reported its strongest systemwide sales ever in 2015, and it currently has signed franchise agreements to develop 66 new restaurants across the U.S. By the end of 2016, its unit count will be 23 restaurants in seven states, including new restaurants under construction in Atlanta and Oklahoma City. The company currently has additional franchise opportunities in Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina and plans to have 45 locations nationwide by 2018.
“The fast casual landscape is a competitive space with many players,” said Jensen-Pitts. “But we know Cowboy Chicken has the potential for broad national appeal, and by evolving our concept and marketing, we can attract a new generation of millennial consumers.”
Founded in Dallas in 1981, Cowboy Chicken is a fast casual restaurant chain specializing in real wood-fire rotisserie chicken with 21 locations in four states. Named among the Fast Casual Top 100 Movers & Shakers in 2016, Cowboy Chicken also was chosen by Forbes magazine as one “Hot Restaurant Chain To Buy Into Now.” Cowboy Chicken’s signature Twice Baked Potaters was featured in D Magazine’s annual “The Best of Big D” list. Cowboy Chicken offers dine-in, delivery, takeout, online ordering and catering services. Cowboy Chicken is seeking qualified franchisees. For more information, please visit www.cowboychicken.com or contact Kathy Davidson for franchising information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-505-9883.