Multi-Brand Franchisees Add Slim Chickens to Growing Portfolio | Franchise News

Slim Chickens

Slim Chickens has over 260 restaurants in over 30 states and the United Kingdom.

Like the abbreviated name of their franchise company, AOM LLC co-owners Brandon and Rachel Thompson always believed there’s “Always One More” concept they can add to their portfolio.

The husband-wife team are multi-brand franchisees who have proven the company adage still stands by signing a seven-unit deal with Slim Chickens in their home state of Louisiana. The couple own a Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux in Portsmouth, Arkansas, and a Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers in West Monroe, Louisiana, with eight more in development. 

“We put a lot of research into the brands we invest in and we both felt that Slim Chickens just made the most sense for us at this time,” Brandon Thompson said. “As far as chicken brands, Slim is much more than just chicken tenders, fries and a drink. It’s also waffles, mac and cheese, salads and a lot of other popular choices prepared to order. For Slim Chickens, it’s about serving fresh food that’s not frozen, and always with southern hospitality.” 

Brandon and Rachel Thompson

Brandon and Rachel Thompson signed a 7-unit deal with Slim Chickens in their homestae of Louisiana. 

“We just know it’s going to go over really well down here in Louisiana,” said Rachel Thomson. Slim Chickens has over 260 restaurants in over 30 states and the United Kingdom. The fast-growing chicken brand has 1,200 locations in development, thanks in large part to a number multi-unit deals signed in the last year.

Related: With Large Slim Chickens Deal, Full-service Operators Tackle First Franchise 

The Fayetteville, Arkansas-based fast-casual brand posted 70 percent growth over the last three years and finished 2022 with systemwide sales of $361 million to land at No. 180 on the Franchise Times Top 400.

The investment range for a Slim Chickens is $1.1 million to $3.4 million, with $3.8 million average unit volume, according to the franchise disclosure document.

For the Thompsons, Slim Chickens represents the next chapter in their fast-casual restaurant career. Brandon Thompson and his father owned and operated six Subways in the Alexandria-Pineville, Louisiana, area together following his graduation from Louisiana State University. He bought out his share in the family business to pursue his own franchising path, and at one time he and his wife’s AOM company owned three Walk-On’s in Louisiana, but have since sold two of them.

In 2022, AOM signed its nine-unit deal with Freddy’s to develop territories in Louisiana and Texas.

“With Subway, I saw sales dropping in the stores and just not a lot of incentive by corporate to help the franchisees at that point in time. I just had a feeling it was the right time to get out and move on,” said Brandon Thompson, whose father still operates Subways.

With Slim Chickens, the Thompsons see an easier path to growing their franchise portfolio. They point out the brand’s relatively small build-out footprint of 2,400 to 2,800 square feet and the fast-casual brand’s advance operating systems as major selling points for them. 

“We love our Walk-On’s, but they are a monster to run because of the size of their dining areas and how many staff it takes to run them,” Brandon Thompson said. “With Slims, we figure it will still take 80-90 employees at each location to get started, including 5-6 managers at each of them. But we feel we’ll be able to scale it down to 35 or 45 employees at our restaurants once we get things going right with good hires.”

“I just like the open modern look of Slim Chickens with their patios,” said Rachel Thompson, who gave up her pharmacy career to devote her energy to running AOM with her husband who she’s been with since 14. “I also really like that they allow customers to customize their orders and they get to choose exactly the kind of food they want. I think that’s a really important difference today.”

Thompsons said diversifying their portfolio started with doing due diligence and understanding their capabilities and capacities. They said it’s also important to develop a strong understanding of and trust with the brand they choose to partner with.

“Franchising is a two-way relationship, between franchisee and franchisor,” Brandon Thompson said. “You can’t understand a brand from just looking at it on paper and visiting their stores. You need to meet corporate and the franchisees behind the podium to really understand the brand and to build that relationship.”


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