Fayetteville-based restaurant chain Slim Chickens announced Wednesday (July 17) an equity investment from 10 Point Capital, an Atlanta-based private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The investment is expected to help the company’s expansion. Slim Chickens has a goal of opening more than 600 new locations over the next 10 years. Slim Chickens now has more than 80 locations across 14 states, the United Kingdom and Kuwait. An additional 350 locations are under development agreements.
“Greg Smart and I started Slim Chickens over 16 years ago with a mission to bring Southern hospitality and fresh, high-quality chicken to a fast-casual setting,” said CEO and co-founder Tom Gordon said in a statement. “Our growth with new franchise agreements has been exceptional in the first half of 2019. In the past quarter alone, Slim Chickens has signed 60 new restaurant agreements with impressive, experienced multi-unit franchisees.
“With 10 Point Capital’s unique support and expertise, we believe we have the resources necessary to achieve our goal of 600 stores in the next 10 years.”
Slim Chickens COO Sam Rothschild said the company’s growth rate is beginning to reach a level “we’ve been working towards.” The company opened its fourth UK location in Birmingham, England, earlier this month and will open new restaurants in Southaven, Miss., and Owasso, Okla., in the next several weeks. Additional store openings across the Southeast and Midwest U.S. are slated in the fall.
10 Point Capital managing partner Tom Wells said Slim Chickens is poised for significant growth. Other fast-casual restaurants in the 10 Point Capital portfolio include Tropical Smoothie Café, which opened its 750th store earlier this year.
“At 10 Point Capital, we help founders create dominant franchise brands, and Slim Chickens is certainly a vibrant, distinctive brand,” Wells said. “Whether in Little Rock or central London, we found in our diligence that Slim Chickens has quickly established a loyal following in whatever market it enters.”
Slim Chickens CFO Seth Jensen said the company chose 10 Point Capital for a private equity investment because of its expertise in franchising and a “shared vision” for the brand.
“We had a number of potential private equity suitors over the past few years, but we were committed to aligning with a company that would be able to drive more impact than just financing,” he said.
Slim Chickens is currently seeking single and multi-unit franchisees to open locations in the Southeastern, Midwestern and Northeast U.S.