I’ve reviewed a lot of restaurant concepts, but Chester’s Chicken is right up there at the top in terms of affordable franchising options out there. Unlike most restaurants that require you to rent out space or build a location, Chester’s Chicken, also known as Chester’s Chicken on the Run, operates primarily out of gas stations and truck stops in the United States. This chicken restaurant has been is recognized by traveler and truck drivers as a destination for a high-quality meal where there are often few food options available.
How much does it cost to open Chester’s Chicken? To open this fried chicken chain in your area, you’ll need a minimum net worth of $100,000. The investment range to start a Chester’s Chicken franchise is $27,500 to $296,500 and the training fee to start is $3,500. Compare this to similar concepts like KFC where you’ll need to invest $1 million minimum and you can see why this is such an interesting opportunity.
Ready to learn more about how affordable Chester’s Chicken is? Find out below or take this 7-minute franchise quiz to be matched with the chicken franchise that fits your interests and investment strategy.
Financial Requirements and Fees
|Fees / Expenses
||Minimum of $100,000
||$27,500 to $296,500
To better understand the financial requirements, Chester’s Chicken has many layout options for franchising:
- Store-in-Store – this is 500+ sq. ft. with an in-line layout. This location can be suited for food courts.
- Full Dining Room – this is 500+ sq. ft. store with dining options such as chairs and tables.
- Express – this is 400+ sq. ft store that can be suited for supermarkets.
- Grab-n-Go – this is 4+ sq. ft that features a hot case and signage and suited for convenience stores.
Though Chester’s has not disclosed how much each layout option’s investment would be, the investment range they provided is $27,500 to $296,500 which is quite affordable than other fried chicken franchises. To compare, KFC’s investment range is $1,000,000 – $2,000,000 and Popeye’s is $383,500 – $2,620,800.
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Chester’s Chicken also does not have a franchise fee. Rather, they call it a training fee wherein you must pay it in a lump sum upon signing the agreement. The term of the agreement to run a Chester’s Chicken franchise is 5 years and it is renewable.
Average Sales / Revenue per Year
The global sales for Chester’s Chicken have amounted to $393,723,828. This figure includes both their US units and international units. Their sales growth has seen a 12.7% increase in revenue annually.
Chester’s Chicken Franchise Facts
||1,146 (1,081 U.S.A)
||Chester’s International LLC
Chester’s Chicken began in 1952 by W.O. Giles. At that time, they weren’t selling fried chicken just yet but donuts from the fryers that they developed and patented. Their fryers were a hit and Chester’s business grew from it which then led to them frying chicken as well thus creating Chester’s Chicken.
The menu at Chester’s Chicken may not include their donuts anymore but they do sell a wide variety of fried chicken items. This includes bone-in fried chicken, chicken tenders, chicken sandwiches, honey butter biscuits, sides, dipping sauces, fried livers, and fried gizzards which the latter two are considered quite a hit.
Chicken livers are on the menu.
To franchise Chester’s Chicken, you may schedule a call with them through here or complete franchise form here. Once an appointment is made, you’ll need to make your way through the application and approval process. If you’re sure in franchising Chester’s and have chosen which layout you’re going for, the signing of the Franchise Agreement follows next followed by a Store Readiness Review and On-Site Training. Once you make it through the training process, you’ll be ready for your grand opening and operation of a unit.
At present, the Managing Director and owner of Chester’s Chicken is Wynn Giles who is the third generation owner of the family business. Their company headquarters is located in Birmingham, Alabama.
How Much Does Chester’s Chicken Make in Profit?
It is not known officially how much a Chester’s Chicken franchise makes in profit but an estimate between $25,000 to $100,000 annually per unit. Factors can affect the amount of profit your franchise can make such as the location of your franchise and the competition surrounding the business.
Advantages of a Chester’s Chicken Franchise
Chester’s Chicken can bring many advantages once you franchise with them. Here are a few to note:
The fried chicken business is a growing market. The demand for fried chicken continues and if you want to franchise a fried chicken business, being affordable can be a big help. Chester’s Chicken is considered as one of the most affordable fried chicken franchises with a low investment of $27,500 to $296,500. So if you’re looking for a fried chicken franchise that can fit your budget, Chester’s could be the one for you. The level of investment is appealing because it allows you to recoup your investment capital quickly.
Operating within a gas station or truck stop means the franchise doesn’t need to invest heavily in building and maintaining a standalone establishment. This shared space significantly reduces rental costs. Often, utilities and maintenance costs are lower when shared between businesses. The gas station or truck stop may cover certain utilities, security, or upkeep expenses, reducing the financial burden on the franchise.
Chester’s Chicken has several franchise layout options to choose from that maximizes the space capacity. So even if you have a small space to rent such as ones in convenience stores or supermarkets, Chester’s Chicken still has the layout that will work.
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Built-in Foot Traffic:
Many Chester’s Chicken locations operate inside truck stops and gas stations. As a result, you’ve got a captive audience of hungry diners and may not need to work as hard at marketing the business compared to other restaurants. Here are two types of customers you’ll serve in this chicken restaurant:
- Truck Drivers: Gas stations and truck stops are essential pit stops for truck drivers who are on the road for long hours. These drivers need convenient and quick meal options, making a Chester’s Chicken franchise an attractive option for them. Offering hearty meals that can be quickly grabbed helps cater to this demographic effectively.
- Travelers: Similarly, travelers on highways often stop at gas stations for fuel, rest, and food. Having a recognizable brand like Chester’s Chicken available provides a reliable food option for families and individuals on road trips.
Chester’s Chicken has a simple menu yet every item seems like a hit. Aside from the usual tenders and chicken sandwiches, they have fried liver and gizzard which is surprisingly a popular item on their menu.
They also offer unique items that aren’t available at most fried chicken restaurants like liver and gizzard. While this might not sound appealing to everyone, there’s a niche consumer that craves these items.
Challenges of a Chester’s Chicken Franchise
As an entrepreneur, you’ll face a couple of business challenges along the way and yes, even when you franchise a business such as Chester’s Chicken. Here are some to expect:
Chester’s Chicken faces tough competition with big fried chicken brands in the industry. A few of these are KFC, Popeyes, and Jollibee. Though Chester’s has been around for 70 years, the other brands are more well-known because of their global presence.
Chester’s Chicken on the Run.
Simple to Replicate: We mentioned that Chester’s simple menu was an advantage but the overall simplicity of the brand can be a challenge as well. It can be difficult to stand out from the tough competition if Chester’s Chicken remains to be simple. There are plenty of cooks and business that have figured out the process of serving great tasting fried chicken.
Market Saturation: Depending on the location, there may be market saturation with similar food service options, leading to high competition and potentially limiting the success of an additional fast-food franchise. Not all truck stops operate in a food dessert where there are limited dining options. Some truck stops are located near large suburban centers with many food options.
Is the Chester’s Chicken Franchise Right For You?
If you’re looking into an affordable fried chicken franchise then there’s no question here that Chester’s Chicken is the one for you. Just be sure to find a good location for your franchise to really get the most out of the business.
What is an alternative Chester’s Chicken franchise?
One fried chicken franchise you can look into is KFC. They’re one of the leading quick service franchises in the world with over 23,000 locations.
To invest in a KFC, expect the range to be around $1,000,000 – $2,000,000. Read our guide in franchising KFC here.
Popularly known as just Chester’s, this fried chicken business has been on the quick service scene since 1952. They’ve been serving up a variety of fried chicken from tenders to sandwiches, biscuits, and even liver and gizzards since they got started.
I hope this guide in franchising Chester’s Chicken was able to convince you to check out more of this fried chicken business. Do you think this is a good opportunity?