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Top 5 Reasons to Invest in a Layne’s Franchise in 2024

The chicken finger franchise is growing rapidly, and it offers an appealing opportunity for franchisees looking to join a culture-forward, proven franchise system.

By Morgan Wood1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSOREDUpdated 10:10AM 01/17/24

With 13 restaurants open and another 113 sold, Layne’s Chicken Fingers, the Soon to be FamousTM chicken franchise, is seeing explosive growth. In 2023 alone, it awarded 48 new restaurants, surpassing its previous goal of 100 units sold by 2025 and demonstrating incredible demand from franchisees. This year, it plans to open another 12 restaurants as it continues to award franchises in markets nationwide, and there has never been a better time to get on board.

Here are five reasons why Layne’s is a great investment opportunity for 2024.

A Cult-Favorite Brand Ready to Expand Nationwide

Born and breaded in College Station, Texas in 1994, Layne’s Chicken Fingers has been building a cult following since its start. In fact, many members of the leadership team, board members and team members at local restaurants have their own favorite memories of the brand stemming from experiences they had as guests before becoming involved with Layne’s professionally.

Each year, Texas A&M graduates return for football games and trips to Layne’s, college students have celebratory lunches at the restaurants and families carry on traditions. People in College Station have even gotten married in Layne’s shirts! 

The Texas restaurants are consistently bustling, and the leadership team is ready to bring the Layne’s experience to (and cultivate that same loyalty in) other markets nationwide. As awareness of and demand for Layne’s climbs in other markets across the country, the leadership team is working to bring the brand to new locales, and franchisees who sign on in 2024 will have an opportunity to be a crucial part of this meaningful growth.

Layne’s Differentiates Itself in an Already-High-Demand Segment

The U.S. fast food chicken restaurant market is worth nearly $60 billion and is projected to continue growing steadily. While the value of the market is a strong indicator of consumer demand, it may also be viewed as an indicator of just how much competition is already present in the segment. 

Though fast food chicken restaurants are extremely prevalent in the U.S., Layne’s offers key differentiators that allow owners to stand out above the competition, drawing guests in and quickly building loyalty.

Because Layne’s was started as a true hometown restaurant, it has maintained a laid back, welcoming atmosphere that keeps people coming back. Layne’s also offers crispy, tender chicken fingers and flavorful house sauces that easily compete with the offerings of other chicken concepts, allowing owners to capture a notable share of the market demand for chicken finger meals and plates, even in markets where other big-name competitors are present.

With a Powerhouse Leadership Team, Layne’s Franchisees Receive Robust Support and Expert Advice

The Layne’s experience is a crucial aspect of the brand’s ability to build a loyal customer base, but the leadership team holds itself to a similar standard for its interactions with franchisees. To protect the Layne’s brand, it is important that local owners have a positive experience with the leadership team and feel supported in running a restaurant that’s in line with brand standards.

In addition to the sheer passion that exists within the leadership team, there is a depth of expertise present that allows franchisees to be mentored at each step of the process. CEO Garrett Reed is an owner in the brand and has years of experience in real estate development, as is his brother, Eric Reed, who recently joined the team as Chief Development Officer. Layne’s Chief Operating Officer, Samir Wattar, brings decades of experience in franchising and restaurant operations, and Richard Broadhead, the brand’s Director of Marketing, brings a strong track record of constructing impactful, technology-focused marketing campaigns.

Throughout the entire onboarding and ownership process, Layne’s franchisees have access to the systems and programs the team has created, as well as direct lines to support teams and leaders to guide them through any challenges they may encounter along the way.

Constant Evolution Keeps a Legacy Brand Relevant

Layne’s Chicken Fingers started as the go-to place to get the classics, but the brand has evolved with the tastes of its guests, bringing new offerings to the menu to keep the brand relevant and maintain excitement, even after 20-plus years of serving chicken fingers.

In 2022, the team introduced a new spicy option to the menu, broadening its reach and driving sales. The spicy chicken is breaded with Layne’s unique mix of cayenne pepper and other spices and herbs, offering an option that is spicy without being overpowering or concealing other flavors in the breading.

The introduction of spicy chicken allowed the brand to target a new demographic and increase frequency among existing guests thanks to the new variety available on the menu.

While Layne’s evolves similarly in other arenas, updating its mobile app, embracing technology and welcoming varied build-out models, it is important to note that the leadership team never initiates these changes just so that they can say that they did. Rather, the brand’s growth and adaptations are always done intentionally, based on current demand in the segment, to offer an update to the legacy brand that will empower it to continue growing and capturing consumer demand long into the future.

With a Wave of Growth in 2023 and More on the Horizon, Now Is the Time to Secure Your Ideal Territory

In 2023, Layne’s awarded 48 new franchises, opened four restaurants and acquired the original three locations. As it works to sell out its home state of Texas and establishes flagship locations in other major markets, the brand is balancing healthy growth with expansion that addresses the demand it’s seeing from both franchisees and guests in markets nationwide.

Layne’s Chicken Fingers plans to open 12 more restaurants this year and continue awarding franchises to driven entrepreneurs who will represent the brand well in their markets. While the team is adamant about protecting both the brand and the franchisee, working to grow intentionally and healthily, its growing infrastructure and climbing demand is positioning it for another growth explosion. Interested franchisees should take advantage of the opportunity in 2024 to secure their territories and be a part of the brand’s exponential growth story before prime markets begin to sell out.

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