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Why Multi-Unit Franchisees Are Flocking to Layne’s Chicken Fingers

The fast-growing chicken tender franchise has captured the attention of multi-unit owners from Moe’s, Whataburger and Halal Guys. Here’s why.

By Morgan Wood1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSORED 12:12PM 06/11/24

“Born and breaded” in 1994, Layne’s Chicken Fingers has been serving up crispy tenders, special sauce and an unmatched laid-back atmosphere for 30 years. Its ability to maintain this distinct culture, guest experience and food quality as it took the leap into franchising, combining hometown values with big-time restaurant experience, is exactly why the brand is Soon to be FamousTM with entrepreneurs and guests alike. Layne’s has already attracted franchisees with multi-unit investments in other major brands — including Moe’s, Whataburger and Halal Guys — and it’s just starting.

Its very first franchisee, Masroor Fatany, founder of AYG Food Services and a multi-unit franchisee with Halal Guys, recognized Layne’s potential early on. Since joining the brand in 2020, Fatany has opened four locations in the Houston area, and he has another three planned for this year alone. He has seen incredible success with his existing restaurants, including a remarkable opening in Beaumont, Texas.

“I remember all of the excitement around the brand when we opened in Beaumont. We were the talk of the town in Facebook groups and on the local news, and we had a really long line,” Fatany said. “That location is directly across the street from a [Raising] Cane’s, and seeing a huge line of cars waiting for us when there is a respectable competitor right across the street made us feel good. We knew we were bringing a really great product to the market, and the response from the community was proof that we were really on to something.”

As it grows, Layne’s is becoming increasingly popular with multi-brand, multi-unit owners like Fatany.

“We’re attracting a different caliber of franchisees,” Chief Operating Officer Samir Wattar said. “There are franchisees with other brands saying, ‘I want to be a part of this. I’m a good businessperson, and I want to catch this on the way up.’”

“It’s great because potential franchisees are coming to us and selling themselves — explaining why they should be a part of our system,” CEO Garrett Reed added. “When we have one of the largest Whataburger franchisees, for example, do that research and ultimately sign a deal with us, we know we’re doing something right.”

The Whataburger franchisee in question, Taylor Thomas, is a seasoned restaurant professional with plenty of experience in the franchise space. Thomas signed a deal to bring 25 new Layne’s locations to East Texas after he and his family maxed out their Whataburger territory. 

“When we first started looking, we were only looking at major brands,” Thomas said. “But we realized that the bigger the brand, the more likely that family-owned atmosphere goes away. There was a disconnect there. We want to feel like we can bounce off ideas and help the whole brand grow. The restaurant business isn’t easy — it never has been. So it's important to have that collaboration between the franchisee and franchisor.”

Layne’s brings the collaboration and family feel, but it does not lack the sophistication and growth potential that driven entrepreneurs like Thomas are looking for.

“Layne’s impressive growth trajectory was a decisive factor in our decision-making process,” Seth Bickle, part of the three-person team leading Layne’s entry to Georgia, said. “With almost 90 locations signed, including our commitment to 18 of these, Layne’s represents a dynamic and rapidly expanding opportunity in the market. During our extensive research and visits to various franchises nationwide, Layne’s consistently stood out, especially due to the exceptional quality of their chicken tenders.”

With a combined 100-plus years of experience in restaurants, real estate and operations at the home office, Layne’s combines the expertise and support of big-name brands with the charm and value of a hometown chicken shop. For entrepreneurs with grand plans to scale and a commitment to investing in a brand and model they truly believe in, this pairing is hard to beat.

“We have big plans for our future, and we’re focused on partnering with the right franchisees to make them happen,” Wattar said. “The investor franchisee who has already found success in the industry and wants to expand his portfolio is exactly who we’re looking for in this next growth phase.”

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