A new chicken chain is coming to Kansas.
Slim Chickens is opening several restaurants in Wichita and Lawrence.
“It’s part of the fast-casual segment,” says Mark Killeen, operating partner for Slim Chickens franchisee American Slims.
That means it’s similar to a Panera or Chipotle where diners order at a counter, although at Slim Chickens, the food is then served to customers at their tables.
Slim Chickens will open in Lawrence in January.
The first one in Wichita will open in March or April in a free-standing building at Regency Lakes at the northwest corner of 21st and Greenwich. It will be between Chili’s and Subway.
“With Cabela’s and Target, those are some great anchors,” Killeen says.
He says the larger K-96 and Greenwich area in general has “a lot of growth and a lot of new concepts out there.”
Killeen says all the restaurants in the area attract a lot of traffic.
Slim Chickens is based in Fayetteville, Ark., though Killeen is based in Michigan. American Slims has Slim Chickens rights to most of Kansas.
There are two of the restaurants planned for Lawrence.
“We are definitely interested in doing more in Wichita,” Killeen says. “It all comes down to if we can find some great locations.”
He wants to be on the west side for sure, probably along Maize Road.
Killeen describes Slim Chickens as having high-quality fresh food that’s never frozen. That includes tenders, breasts and wings that are made to order and have up to a dozen dipping sauces and as many as 10 wings sauces.
There also are salads, sandwiches and desserts, and some locations will serve craft beer. Killeen says he’s looking into licensing and trying to connect with local breweries.
“It’s an opportunity for them to show their product in another venue.”
Most Slim Chickens sites are 2,800 to 3,000 square feet and have 70 to 80 seats with another 20 on a patio. There’s also a drive-through.
Killeen says there’s booth seating, jazz music and lots of televisions.
“It’s a very comfortable environment.”