Fast-Growing “Better Chicken” Concept Brings on Focus Brands’ Top Development Person to Spearhead Nationwide Growth
Fayetteville, AR (RestaurantNews.com) Slim Chickens, the fast-growing “better chicken” franchise has already had a monumental year including the launch of online ordering and a new loyalty app, and the opening of the brand’s first location in London. To build on the positive momentum and cultivate a proactive, strategic growth plan, Slim Chickens is excited to announce the hiring of Jackie Lobdell as the Executive Director of Franchise Development.
Lobdell is a multi-year award winning sales professional with over 25 years of experience, most recently serving as director of franchise development for Focus Brands, where she spearheaded the growth of McAllister’s Deli through recruiting, awarding and onboarding new franchisees. During her tenure, Lobdell assisted McAllister’s Deli in expanding its franchise system to more than 400 restaurants in 28 states, largely through multi-unit partners. In 2017 Lobdell was named Sales Person of the Year for Focus Brands.
“I am thrilled to join the company at such an exciting time of growth and opportunity” stated Lobdell. “I look forward to building upon Slim Chickens’ successful foundation and driving franchise growth for us and our future franchise partners. Through my role in sales and development, it has been extremely rewarding to not only support and champion brands that are in growth mode, but to find strong individual and multi-unit franchisees that are excited to join and grow with us. I want to work for a team that motivates me and for a concept that I am passionate about and I immediately found that at Slim Chickens and with its management team. Sam Rothschild is a distinguished executive in the industry and I was incredibly excited for an opportunity to follow his leadership.”
Since the beginning of the Slim Chickens journey in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with the first restaurant opening in 2003, Slim Chickens has enjoyed tremendous growth. Now with 72 locations open in 14 states and international locations in Kuwait and London, and an additional 250 units in the development pipeline, Slim Chickens is well on its way to achieving its goal of 600 restaurants by 2025.
“Greg [Smart] and Tom [Gordon] started Slim Chickens in a garage and have grown the brand at record pace. This path to growth is truly inspiring to me and makes it easy to believe in the brand and tell its story to potential franchisees. I am so excited to be part of the brand’s strategic efforts to grow on a national and international level,” said Lobdell.
“As we lay the groundwork for the years ahead, it is so important to make sure we have the right leadership and support backing our brand and our dedicated franchisees, and we know Jackie will be a great addition to our team,” said Slim Chickens Co-Founder and CEO Tom Gordon. “By staying true to our roots and commitment to our unique brand, we have an opportunity for incredible unit growth ahead and look forward to what the rest of the year and the years to come have in store for us.”
About Slim Chickens
Slim Chickens opened in 2003 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with a focus on culinary excellence in a fast-casual setting. Guests can always expect fresh chicken tenders and wings cooked to order and served with housemade dipping sauces made from scratch. With more than 70 locations today and a fanatical following in 13 states, the eternally cool brand is an emerging national franchise leading the “better chicken” segment and intends to grow nationwide to a footprint of 600 restaurants over the next decade. Southern hospitality is not just for the South; everyone, everywhere can appreciate honest food and socializing with friends and neighbors. To learn more about the brand, visit slimchickensfranchise.com.
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