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Layne's Chicken Fingers Expands to West Virginia

Franchising duo Henry Wang and Erik Mansmann are bringing the hometown chicken finger restaurant to Morgantown.

By Elle Pechiney1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSORED 12:12PM 11/03/22

Layne’s Chicken Fingers, the Soon to be Famous™ fried chicken restaurant, is expanding to Morgantown, Virginia. Henry Wang, Principal of TMD Holdings and 3E Group, has joined forces with Erik Mansmann, Director of Operations at 3E Franchise, to bring the brand their first location in the state.

“To be able to have something as rich in history as Layne’s and to be the first franchisee outside of Texas is really exciting,” Mansmann said. “To be able to work with Henry and our team to take this and make it even larger in the way we plan to is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us. I’m so excited about it.”

After many years in corporate America, both Wang and Mansmann decided it was time for a change.

“What I do is I’m a diehard entrepreneur. I graduated from Carnegie Mellon — a real nerd. My family is first-generation immigrants and very entrepreneurial, and I’ve always had the idea of the American dream in my mind,” Wang said. “My philosophy has always been to find people who are passionate; If you’re passionate, we can always make things work. When we first met Erik, he showed me that his energy was there; he had paid his dues, and he was a real unicorn.”

In the past, Mansmann had worked with brands like Chipotle, Starbucks and Panera Bread. At 3E Franchise, he is responsible for all of the guest-facing businesses and has owned an operated business in Morgantown. Alongside management and openings, Wang tasked Mansmann with identifying additional brands to franchise with.

“We can’t just have one brand if we want to grow and grow aggressively,” Wang explained. “I asked Erik to start looking out for other brands, and he came back to me and said, ‘I think I found a winner.’”

Wang said Layne’s is a great fit because of the shared mindset. He recalls a conversation with the brand’s leadership where someone said that everyone can sell chicken, but Layne’s differentiates itself with passion and service. 

“It was music to our ears, so we flew down there and had a meeting with them,” he said.

“We’re very excited,” said Samir Wattar, Layne’s Chicken COO. “Henry and Erik bring a lot to the table. Erik has been in operations for a long time and has worked for companies like Panera and Chipotle. We feel like they will be a great partner for us, and entering a new market with people like that is very exciting.”

Ultimately, the duo hopes to see great success with the five additional locations currently in progress, including their Pittsburgh location, which is set to open within the next year.

“How high is high?” Mansmann asked. “I think we have the opportunity to be one of Layne’s largest franchise organizations in our current agreement.”

Franchise opportunities range from $656,000 –$1,280,500, with different buildout options available. Learn more about franchising here.


Founded in 1994 in College Station, the original location became a Texas A&M legend known for its small-town charm, friendly service, iconic chicken fingers and secret sauce. While opening corporate locations across the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the leadership team focused on fine-tuning its operations and starting to franchise.  Now, the company is planning to bring Layne’s Soon to be Famous™ Chicken Fingers to the rest of the world with plans to open 100 locations by the next four years.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.