In select markets, Slim Chickens getting revenue bump with late-night service

by Jeff Della Rosa ( 610 views 

This past spring Fayetteville-based Slim Chickens started offering late-night service at select locations, and so far, it’s been successful for the chicken restaurant chain, chief operating officer Sam Rothschild said.

“What has changed is we are generating more revenue from these restaurants,” he said. “So far, we really like what we are seeing.”

For the late-night service, each restaurant’s dining area closes at 10 p.m. as usual, but customers can order anything on the regular menu at the drive through until 1 a.m.

Seven restaurants in Northwest Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas were selected to remain open late, Rothschild said. Three of them are in Northwest Arkansas — two in Fayetteville and one in Rogers. The locations in Fayetteville were selected because of their proximity to the University of Arkansas. So far, the most successful has been the Slim Chickens on Wedington Drive.

Whether the company expands the late-night service into other locations will be determined on a “case-by-case basis,” Rothschild said. “We think there are some restaurants that could stay open even later.” But for others, 1 a.m. might be too late.

The company has been getting out the word about being open late with “grassroots marketing” and is having fun with it, he said. Employees are wearing T-shirts, installing internal graphics and handing out bag stuffers. “Ain’t no chicken like late night chicken,” is part of the marketing campaign.

Slim Chickens, which was established in 2003, has 62 restaurants in 13 states and in Kuwait. The company recently announced it would open its 70th location in Springdale, where the former Jose’s Southwest Grille had been. The existing building at U.S. Highway 412 and Interstate 49 will be torn down, and a 2,800-square-foot building will be built for Slim Chickens.