Make no mistake, Brad Hoag is aware of franchising. He grew up within the trade, together with his father, Phil Hoag, being the primary Burger King franchisee in Maryland again within the mid-Seventies.
In highschool, he was employed to flip burgers at one of many 40 shops his dad owned, and after school labored his method as much as grow to be a restaurant supervisor after which a accomplice in his father’s franchise firm. He finally purchased 5 Burger Kings from his dad and carved out his personal success as a multi-unit franchisee.
“Having gone to Burger King openings as a child and studying the enterprise from my father all my life, I suppose you may say I’ve franchising in my DNA,” Brad Hoag mentioned. “Sure, I used to be very lucky to have an excellent function mannequin in my father who has since retired” from franchising “however nonetheless has his palms in the actual property finish of our enterprise, and continues to be an incredible useful resource for me.”
Hoag is carrying on his father’s franchising legacy together with his franchisee group Phoenix Meals. The Baltimore-headquartered firm not too long ago signed a multi-unit cope with Slim Chickens in Hoag’s residence state of Maryland, giving him the rights to develop eight eating places in Baltimore, Baltimore Metropolis, Harford, Carol and Anne Arundel counties. It’s a territory Hoag is aware of effectively, having been raised within the space and being a multi-unit franchisee there with 10 Burger Kings.
Hoag, who at one time owned and bought again to company 10 Maryland-based Qdoba eating places, started exploring QSR hen manufacturers just a few years in the past till touchdown on Slim Chickens. “Fairly frankly, they had been by far the perfect model I talked to and met with. I felt good concerning the product and I felt good concerning the individuals,” he mentioned.
Alongside together with his rising portfolio of quick informal eating places, Hoag additionally owns 4 Nalley Recent places within the Baltimore space. He partnered with chef Greg Nalley on the restaurant idea that focuses on salads, wraps and bowls with house-made proteins. Hoag mentioned there are not any plans at the moment to franchise Nalley Recent and its 10 Maryland places, though he could also be open to contemplating it sooner or later.
“My precedence now could be to give attention to our present Burger Kings and opening our first Slim Chickens location someday late subsequent yr,” mentioned Hoag.
Slim Chickens was launched in 2003 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and began franchising in 2014. It has opened over 231 eating places in 30 states and in the UK with greater than 1,100 places in growth. The model has opened 29 eating places to this point this yr and are on observe to open one other 40 by the top of the yr, in accordance to Jackie Lobde, vp of franchise growth.
In Could, Slim Chickens which introduced a deal to open 25 eating places in Southeast Michigan.
The fast-casual chain’s menu options hen tenders, salads, sandwiches, hen and waffles, hen wings with 17 house-made dipping sauces. Most Slim Chickens eating places are standalone models with drive-thrus, based on Lobde, who mentioned the model does extra dine-in gross sales as a part of its give attention to interesting to households.
“We most likely vet our franchisees as a lot as they vet us, and Brad and his crew are simply good operators,” Lobde mentioned. “We checked out Brad’s present places of Burger Kings and the way it operates them and he checked off all of the bins for us.”
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Lobde mentioned Slim Chickens has new franchisees lined up in Washington, Oregon and Idaho and is making a powerful push into the Northeast, with New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts being prime targets.
Slim Chickens has an preliminary funding vary of $1.6 million to $4.4 million; common product sales in 2022 had been $2.5 m