CEO Garrett Reed highlights a lucrative market for prospective franchisees and discusses the brand’s proven business model.
Jacksonville, FL (-) Layne’s Chicken Fingers, an emerging Texas-based franchise, is seeking a team of dedicated franchisees in Jacksonville, Florida to expand its loyal following. The brand seeks to open 100 units across the country by 2025, with early plans in Jacksonville to match and eventually surpass the current brand presence in College Station, Texas.
“The Jacksonville area and that part of Florida is a ripe market,” said Garrett Reed, CEO of Layne’s Chicken Fingers. With a metro area population of more than 1.5 million people, the market in Jacksonville comes equipped with a growing consumer audience and a productive real estate outlook.
“The availability of real estate is abundant there, and it’s a market that can easily be developed quickly,” Reed said. “I think the Florida market is full of the same kinds of people who are already in our target market.”
Layne’s Chicken Fingers has captured a cult-like following since its first location opened in 1994 in College Station, Texas. The flagship location has garnered attention with immediate proximity to Texas A&M University, and Reed believes the brand will quickly establish itself in Florida throughout markets with similar demographics.
“Jacksonville is ‘SEC country’ too, if you will. We do very well in Texas, and there are a lot of commonalities between the target audiences in both states,” he said. Jacksonville is home to the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and 67,000-seat TIAA Bank Field, while also the host city for college football’s annual Gator Bowl and the highly-attended University of Georgia/University of Florida football rivalry. The city is accustomed to popular weekend crowds, much like the influx of people upon College Station each fall on Saturdays.
To only further the popularity of Jacksonville, it is a frequent tourist destination for residents in SEC markets. The brand seeks to capitalize on the home city of many collegiate alumni with ties and matching interests to those in its flagship city.
Jacksonville provides a similar comparison to College Station and its beloved Kyle Field, but with a greater market capacity for franchise expansion. College Station has a metro population of under 300,000, less than a fifth of the people in Jacksonville. With a phase of targeted Florida expansion, Layne’s Chicken Fingers might even anticipate more locations in Florida than in Texas within a few years.
Reed further stated how the Jacksonville area will allow Layne’s Chicken Fingers to corner an underserved market of chicken-concept restaurants while staying close to home. As part of the brand’s expansion plans in Florida, they are targeting free-standing drive-thru locations in high-traffic areas.
The brand targets upper-end blue-collar workers, families and high school students in search of a great place to eat after school, or anyone in simple pursuit of great service at a chicken brand concept. “We see this brand as a family across the board, and that’s the way we want everybody to feel,” he added.
This emphasis has led the brand to target a curated audience of passionate franchisees. Layne’s Chicken Fingers entertains both multi- and single-unit franchise deals, but the brand’s emphasis is placed more on the integrity of each franchisee rather than their financial motives. “We’re a fun brand and are all about our guests, and we’re looking for franchisees who fit into our mission,” Reed said.
“We aren’t as concerned about the number of units a franchisee wants to open in Florida, whether a franchisee is a one-unit operator or a 10-unit operator. Really what we look for is if a franchisee is a cultural fit,” he added.
At a corporate level, Reed highlighted how the brand seeks to prioritize employee wellness all the way down to each individual franchise. “I want to go to each restaurant and hear employees talk about how much they love working for the franchise owner,” he said.
In seeking motivated and well-intentioned franchisees, Layne’s Chicken Fingers has launched a priority to put all of its employees in good hands. This has been an ongoing mission of the brand since opening in 1994, and something the brand emphasizes as it entertains its Florida expansion.
Total franchise investments range from $737,000 to $1,217,500. Learn more about franchising here: https://www.layneschickenfingers.com/franchising/.
About Layne’s Chicken Fingers
Founded in 1994 in College Station, the original Layne’s Chicken Fingers 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 in the next four years.