The emerging chicken finger brand is quickly making its way out of Texas, bringing its Soon to be Famous chicken fingers to markets nationwide.
Layne’s Soon to be Famous Chicken Fingers had a busy start to the year with the launch of a new menu item, back-end developments in process and additional franchise growth. The emerging chicken concept aims to open 100 units across the country by 2025, and its 2022 growth, as it stands, poises the brand for great success.
“We signed two franchisees in the first half of the year, and both of them are multi-unit deals, totaling 51 units between the two,” explained Samir Wattar, COO of Layne’s Chicken Fingers. “There is a group based in Pittsburgh and another group that will be based here in DFW, and we have even more leads in the works.”
There are currently five units in development in Houston, Texas; Austin, Texas; Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Morgantown, West Virginia; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Wattar says that most, if not all, of these locations are set to open by fall of this year.
As the brand expands and increases its unit numbers, it brings new, crave-able flavors and offerings to its guests. A new menu item, spicy chicken, launched earlier this year.
“Everybody is looking for fresh flavors. So we debated about six different flavors before finding the one that we have, and I believe we did a great job,” Wattar said. “It’s very well-received by the guests right now. When we launched it, it was about 11% of our sales, and right now it’s over 20%, so it has been great.”
Keeping true to its straightforward, do-it-well roots, Layne’s simply offers the spicy option with every order, allowing guests to have their chicken made regular, spicy or with a mixture of the two.
“At the end of the day, the taste palette of the younger generation just requires more flavor. You can see that in every part of life,” Garrett Reed, CEO of Layne’s added. “When I was a kid, it was just ‘Gatorade,’ no flavors. You had Coke, but there were no flavors. And over time, this desire for flavor has built up. Now, everybody’s looking for this punch in the mouth.”
The spicy chicken delivers that ‘punch’ with cayenne pepper, but its carefully made breading includes other spices and herbs to make it both hot and flavorful.
Another new addition to Layne’s is its soon-to-launch loyalty program and mobile app.
“We’ve always known we needed an app, and we’ve chosen a partner that is fully integrated with our POS so we can take our existing SMS loyalty program to a new level,” Reed explained. “Not only will it be a loyalty app, but it will be an online ordering and rewards app as well.”
As the brand continues to charge forward, bringing its family-feel chicken restaurant to cities nationwide, it provides a unique offering to both prospective franchisees and guests. While it is an emerging brand and has stayed true to its family roots and welcoming culture, it is working to provide offerings that no one else can.
It can be difficult to break into saturated segments of the franchising world, and Layne’s provides that opportunity for prospective business owners who may not be able to secure another chicken concept.
“They have an opportunity to get into the chicken space with a growing brand that has open territories, and we have all the bells and whistles that the big brands have,” Reed added. “That really lends itself to our credibility and gives franchisees the same platform that all the ‘big boys’ have in a more accessible format.”
Franchise opportunities range from $656,000 – $1,280,500 with different buildout options available. Learn more about franchising with Layne’s here.
Founded in 1994 in College Station, the original location became a Texas A&M legend known for its small-town charm, friendly service, iconic chicken fingers and secret sauce. While opening corporate locations across the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the leadership team focused on fine-tuning its operations and starting to franchise. Now, the company is planning to bring Layne’s Soon to be Famous Chicken Fingers to the rest of the world with plans to open 100 locations by the next four years.