Heart of the South Foods Inc. grows better-chicken concept with the state’s first location and a second location to follow this fall.
Slim Chickens, a leader in the “better chicken” segment of fast-casual restaurants, will continue expansion of its 100% all-natural, fresh chicken and unrivaled flavor in Alabama, with its newest opening at 385 Skyland Blvd in Tuscaloosa on August 2.
Heart of the South Foods Inc. owns several other restaurant brands throughout Alabama, but this will be the company’s first Slim Chickens restaurant and the first to open in the state of Alabama. The restaurant development company is expanding in Tuscaloosa to serve the University of Alabama community. Franchisees John Drain, Denise Drain-Mashburn, and their operating partner Rodney Ramsey plan to develop 16 restaurants across the state. The first two locations will be in Tuscaloosa with Jefferson, Shelby, and St Clair, Blount, and Dekalb Counties to follow.
“We are looking forward to bringing Slim Chickens’ fresh and delicious food to the state and specifically to the Tuscaloosa community,” said Denise Drain-Mashburn, the group’s vice president and chief financial officer. “There is a strong customer base within Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama’s student body that will love our southern-inspired chicken and sides.”
Aside from bringing its famous, delicious fried chicken and Southern-inspired sides to the area, the new Slim Chickens location in Tuscaloosa will also make a positive economic impact in the community, with over 75 new jobs anticipated for creation.
The Tuscaloosa opening is one piece in Slim Chickens’ larger growth story. Since its founding in 2003, the brand has celebrated over 125 openings in 21 states and has an overall goal of opening 600 restaurants by 2025. This is Alabama’s first Slim Chickens location, and the brand has plans for ten other locations throughout the state by multiple developers.
“Our freshly made Southern dishes and homemade recipes create loyal guests who feel good about the food they’re eating, and we’re proud to be able to grow our loyal fan base into the Tuscaloosa market,” said Slim Chickens Chief Operating Officer Sam Rothschild.
By focusing on providing only 100% fresh, all-natural chicken tenders that are buttermilk-marinated, hand-breaded and always cooked fresh-to-order, the brand has committed to providing a “better chicken” experience that can’t be found anywhere else. In addition, a choice of 17 housemade sauces adds exceptional flavor and has earned admiration from both guests and critics alike. Slim Chickens also offers fresh sandwiches, salads, wraps and its signature chicken and waffles. To offset the savory side of the menu, rotating desserts served in Mason jars are also available.
Slim Chickens opened in 2003 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with a focus on fresh, delicious food with a Southern flair in a fast-casual setting. Guests can always expect fresh chicken tenders and wings cooked to order and served with housemade dipping sauces. With over 100 locations opened and a fanatical following in 21 U.S. states, as well as international locations in Kuwait and London, the eternally cool brand is an emerging national and international franchise leading the “better chicken” segment with a goal to grow over 600 restaurants over the next decade. Southern hospitality is not just for the South; everyone, everywhere can appreciate honest food to socialize with friends and neighbors. To learn more about the brand, visit slimchickens.com.
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