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Layne’s Chicken Fingers Unveils New Prototype: A Game-Changer for Franchise Efficiency and Local Engagement

The new design, more than two years in development, will cut costs, boost efficiency and strengthen community ties for the fast-casual chicken finger franchise.

Layne’s Chicken Fingers, the Soon to be Famous™ chicken finger franchise, is revolutionizing the fast-casual dining landscape with its innovative new restaurant prototype, designed to streamline operations and foster a deeper connection with local communities. This project, over two years in the making, marks the chain’s first original build, setting a new standard in efficiency and customer experience.

“The prototype is a culmination of all of our best practices, put it into one package,” said CEO Garrett Reed. “Everything was taken into account, even down to the signage. It took a good two years to create this prototype.”

The result is a 2,400-square-foot facility, a significant reduction from the previous 3,000 square feet, achieving an impressive 15-20% cost reduction. 

This is our masterpiece," Reed said. "We started with a new prototype, knowing it wasn't perfect. As we built it, we identified areas for improvement. We made several changes, refining each detail, including the type of roof we used. Every aspect has been carefully reworked over the last two years to achieve perfection."

Streamlined for Success

Chief Operating Officer Samir Wattar highlighted the operational improvements, emphasizing the elimination of wasted space and the strategic placement of essential equipment. 

“We’ve streamlined everything to ensure maximum efficiency, from the walk-in cooler to the POS system.” Wattar said. “You don't have to walk around the building to go to the walk-in cooler or the walk-in freezer. Everything is right there in one step.”

This new layout not only reduces construction and operational costs but also significantly lowers labor expenses. “It's cheaper to build and operate,” Wattar said. “With less space to manage, franchisees will need fewer employees, further reducing labor costs.” 

Local Flavor with Layne’s Wall

One of the standout features of the new prototype is “Layne’s Wall,” a unique tribute to each restaurant’s local community. “Each Layne’s Wall is different,” Reed said. “We find out what is important to that community and we incorporate that into the wall. So it’s all about the high schools, the colleges and all the landmarks in the city that are important. The one in Janesville looks completely different from the one in Roanoke.” 

This community-centric design, combined with floor-to-ceiling windows, creates a bright and welcoming atmosphere, enhancing the overall dining experience. 

Efficiency Meets Modern Design

Justin Olivieri, director of construction for Layne’s, oversaw the construction of the new prototype and worked closely with the team to ensure optimal efficiency. 

"Garrett and Samir asked me to work inside the kitchen to understand the day-to-day operations," Olivieri said. "This hands-on experience was crucial for making informed construction decisions. By understanding why certain things need to be where they are, we ensured the building's maximum efficiency. We made numerous minor adjustments to optimize the space, resulting in the most efficient and streamlined layout possible. Value engineering significantly reduced the construction costs."

In today’s challenging labor market, the efficiency of the new prototype is crucial. By optimizing every aspect of the restaurant’s layout and operations, Layne’s ensures that franchisees can operate with a smaller staff without compromising service quality. This meticulous planning means no wasted labor hours, making the business more sustainable and profitable, especially in an economy where labor costs are a significant concern.

A Collaborative Success

The success of the new prototype is a testament to the collaborative effort across the Layne’s team.

“This project was a two-year collaborative effort involving every department,” Wattar said. “From marketing to construction, everyone played a role in bringing this vision to life.”

Layne’s new prototype is more than just a building; it’s a blueprint for the future of fast-casual dining. With its blend of efficiency, cost savings and community engagement, it sets a new standard for franchise operations.

“This prototype is a game-changer,” Reed said. “It represents our dedication to innovation and our commitment to providing the best possible experience for our franchisees and customers. We’re excited to see how this new design will drive our growth and success in the years to come.”

With this cutting-edge prototype, Layne’s is positioned to lead the fast-casual industry into a new era of efficiency and community-focused dining.

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