Fayetteville-based company Slim Chickens said Tuesday (July 21) it will voluntarily suspend dine-in locations at eight stores in Northwest Arkansas and Fort Smith. The decision, according to a company news release, was based on the continued increase in COVID-19 infection rates in Northwest Arkansas
The closures take effect Wednesday (July 22). The stores include:
2120 N. College Ave.
637 Joyce Blvd., Suite 20A
3562 W. Wedington Drive
1855 M.L.K. Jr. Blvd.
5240 W. Sunset Ave.
2002 S. Promenade Blvd.
1400 S.E. Eagle Way
7501 Phoenix Ave.
“The health and safety of our guests, employees, families and the communities we serve is our top priority,” co-founder and CEO Tom Gordon said in a statement. “We’re proceeding with great caution as we continue to navigate this unprecedented period and doing our part to mitigate the spread.”
Slim Chickens implemented increased cleaning and disinfecting measures and a limited contact experience at the beginning of the pandemic. The brand conducts temperature checks for all its employees and requires employees to wear masks and gloves, in addition to requiring all employees to wash their hands every 20 minutes.
“We’re fortunate to be in a position to function without the use of our dining rooms efficiently and effectively, operating through a limited contact experience and continuing our drive-thru, carry out and curbside service, processes we have perfected over the past several months,” Gordon said. “Additionally, we will be implementing an enhanced curbside service experience through our Slim Chickens App beginning next week.”
The enhanced Slim Chickens smartphone app service will utilize the ability for users to select curbside or pick up when ordering and automatically alerts the restaurant when guests are in route as well as when they arrive on site.
“This new system, working in conjunction with our existing online app will further allow Slim Chickens to give our guests a superior experience when ordering online, a higher level of service at the restaurant as well as reward points to use toward future purchases,” Gordon said.
Slim Chickens expects the enhanced features to begin on Aug. 3 on the Slim Chickens app as a test program in the Northwest Arkansas locations. Once completed, the enhancements will be utilized in all Slim Chickens locations by the end of August.
Since its founding in 2003, the brand has celebrated over 100 openings in 17 U.S. states, as well as international locations in London and Kuwait.