Steps to Ownership: Expectations vs Reality from a Franchisee Perspective

Chicken Salad options

Chicken Salad Chick lives by the values of spreading joy, enriching lives, and serving others. We believe that every entrepreneur considering joining a franchise deserves a path and framework for every step of the ownership process.

At Chicken Salad Chick, our ideal franchise owners share the values behind our brand, our operational structures, and a love for our delicious, scratch-made chicken salad. The process of franchising can feel daunting for some entrepreneurs, but at Chicken Salad Chick, we execute a tried and tested strategy for our partners that’s efficient, detailed, and supportive through and through. From initial meetings to becoming a part of the Chicken Salad Chicken family, our franchisee owners are our best advocates for the steps to ownership we’ve set in place.

Getting to Know Each Other

Chicken Salad Chick approaches the first steps to franchise in a thoughtful and transparent way by setting up an initial inquiry discussion. It’s a conversation of getting to know each other, sharing the unique culture of the Chicken Salad Chick brand, and discussing franchise opportunities available in the entrepreneur’s market. If the prospective franchisee and Chicken Salad Chick are a good fit, they move into the application phase and then on to the process of franchise acquisition stage awarding to find their location.

Taking the first plunge into a future ripe with potential can be intimidating to some entrepreneurs, but Chicken Salad Chick offers encouragement, support, and valued transparency from the moment the initial phone call starts. We want our potential business partners to know we value them just as we would store employees and our customers, and we want to lead with a values-first approach.

Brand founder Stacy Brown and her late husband Kevin laid the bedrock for a business culture that values people at its core, living by the mission to spread joy, enrich lives, and serve others. Many franchisee owners have felt their impact, and that inspiration has led to a culture of brand success.

“We became Chicken Salad Chick franchisees after sitting down with Stacy and the late great Kevin Brown,” said franchise owners Bob and Carolyn Gosselin. “Talking about what they wanted it to mean to be a Chicken Salad Chick franchisee…they were so passionate about the product, about their customers, and their employees.” The duo opened their first Chicken Salad Chick restaurant in Tallahassee, FL, in 2013 and expanded with another opening in recent years in Thomasville, GA. "From opening our first restaurant, it has been very rewarding to see just how far the brand's fresh, flavorful food and unmatched hospitality has reached over the years,” Bob commented to FastCasual.com.

Financing and Franchisee Experience

When entrepreneurs consider franchising, they’re met with countless options of businesses to choose from in a myriad of varying industries. Chicken Salad Chick is drastically set apart not only as the only chicken salad-based restaurant chain but also in the accessibility of our start-up costs when compared to many other options. The financial investment component is often the primary factor in deciding which brand to invest in, and with Chicken Salad Chick, we make the decision simple.

Once the franchising awarding stage is complete and an in-market location is secured, the next step involves financial approval. Chicken Salad Chick offers an introduction to our preferred and trusted business lenders, who are familiar with our model and add convenience that future franchisees can benefit from.

“What made me want to franchise with Chicken Salad Chick was the fact that we are unique in the marketplace," noted franchise owner Jake Alleman. “The initial investment to open the store is a lot less than the concepts we looked at, and the return on investment is very high, as with the amount of support [received] from the home office.”

Following financial approval, future Chicken Salad Chick partners can anticipate scheduled time spent with current franchise owners to hear about their overall experience with the brand. This element in the ownership process is vital and meaningful, allowing new owners to gain experience from those who have already invested their time, funds, and hard work into Chicken Salad Chick, and hear how their efforts with our brand’s support and operational strategies have led to successful outcomes.

John and Meggie Schissler opened their first Chicken Salad Chick restaurant in 2016 in Fort Worth, TX, the first in the Lone Star State. Since then, they’ve expanded into several locations, with future plans to grow even further. The couple shared the value in meeting with those already in the business before they began, saying that, “having an inside peak into what goes on behind the business really drew us to want to do it ourselves. [We wanted to] make the impact in people’s lives on our own, in the same way that Kevin and Stacy had started to do in other people’s lives, so the ability to bring that to the people of Fort Worth was really exciting for us.”

Open Arms and a Future of Success

The final step to ownership approval is Chicken Salad Chick’s Hospitality Day. Potential franchise owners are invited to the Chicken Salad Chick headquarters in Atlanta, GA. Here, they meet with the team that will guide them through building and creating their future business. Of course, they are also welcomed with a fully catered lunch with scratch-made chicken salad and delicious sides and desserts. Once this final step of the approval process is complete, new franchise owners are confident in the path ahead of them, backed by transparent support from the Chicken Salad Chick team that will always last.

Chicken Salad Chick CEO Scott Deviney has led the brand into explosive growth in recent years. In 2022, Chicken Salad Chick spanned 275 locations in 18 states and continued on an upward path of growth in 2023. This success can only be obtained through our tested and proven steps to ownership strategy, allowing both our brand and franchise owners to find their perfect fit. In a piece from Franchise Wire, Scott says that “I’m proud of our team’s continued focus on the mission and values. The [franchise owners] deliver Chicken Salad Chick’s signature dining experience and keep our customers returning time and again.”

If you’re considering becoming a franchise owner, discover why Chicken Salad Chick has the right opportunity for you: https://www.chickensaladchick.com/franchising/

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