Fayetteville-based Slim Chickens to expand to UK in 2018

Slim Chickens / Courtesy photo

A Fayetteville-based restaurant chain is set to open their first of several planned locations in the United Kingdom this winter.

Slim Chickens this week announced a partnership with London-based Boparan Restaurant Group to open several locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, beginning with a location in London set to open in the next few months.

Slim Chickens co-founders Greg Smart and Tom Gordon

File photo

“This is another landmark moment in our brand’s growth,” says Tom Gordon, co-founder and CEO of Slim Chickens. “We’re spreading our wings and bringing our second-to-none chicken to another international market and are excited about continuing our international growth.”

It isn’t the first international location for the restaurant chain, which got its start on College Avenue in Fayetteville in 2003. The restaurant also opened its first of several planned restaurants in the Middle East and Northern Africa last year in Kuwait.

Boparan Restaurant Group reportedly employs 2,500 people, and is one of fastest growing companies in the UK. The company operates several popular restaurant concepts in Europe, including Giraffe World Kitchen, Burgers & Cocktails, Fishworks, Ed’s Easy Diner, and others.

According to a press release issued this week, Boparan chose to bring Slim Chickens to the UK because of their “superior product and modern approach to branding and design.”

“In the U.K. there’s a big opportunity in the fast-casual chicken segment with little existing competition in the marketplace,” said Tom Crowley, CEO of Boparan Restaurant Group. “We were looking for a progressive concept that would fill this gap and Slim Chickens was the perfect fit. We loved the product and the design and branding have a modern approach. We feel confident that Slim Chickens will be successful in the UK due to our connections here, paired with the brand’s strong leadership team helping fuel growth through strong operations.”

The original Slim Chickens at 2120 N. College Ave.

Courtesy photo

The restaurant group plans to grow the Slim Chickens brand rapidly in the UK and Ireland over the next ten years, which restaurant officials believe could lead to even more international development for the brand.

“It’s clear that our brand’s offering has been a hit stateside and we have no doubt that we will see this same reception as we continue our international growth,” says Slim Chickens COO Sam Rothschild. “Boparan is the right partner to lead the charge of introducing better chicken and making Slim Chickens a household name in the United Kingdom and Ireland.”

Slim Chickens focuses on fresh, hand-breaded chicken tenders, wings, salads, wraps, chicken & waffles, house-made sauces, and other Southern-inspired dishes.

The company has been expanding rapidly since it opened its first location in Fayetteville 15 years ago. Slim Chickens last week opened their first Mississippi location in Ridgeland, and now operates 70 locations in 14 states. The company has a stated goal to open 600 restaurants by the year 2025.

Slim Chickens is headquartered on Millsap Road in Fayetteville.

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