Bojangles’ is expanding into the Midwest.
The Charlotte-based chicken-and-biscuits chain said in a statement it is looking for franchise owners to lead the company’s growth into Cincinnati, Ohio; Evansville, Ind.; and Louisville, Ky. The company’s most recent growth plans jibe with the expansion executives laid out when the company went public in 2015.
Opening restaurants in Ohio and Indiana will mark Bojangles’ entrance into the Midwest. Currently, the company does not have any locations on the north side of the Ohio River, spokesman Brian Little said.
Bojangles’ currently has three company-operated restaurants in Louisville that are expected to open early next year. The company has several other Kentucky locations already open, including in Franklin and Shelbyville, according to its website. With its Kentucky expansion, Bojangles’ is encroaching on the turf of competitor Kentucky Fried Chicken, which is based in Louisville.
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“We look forward to sharing the Bojangles’ experience with potential franchisees who fit our culture and desire to bring our freshly-made food and wonderful customer experience into these exciting markets,” said Randy Icard, Bojangles’ vice president of franchise development.
Founded in Charlotte in 1977, Bojangles’ has been gradually growing beyond the Carolinas since going public in 2015. Executives laid out an expansion plan to fill out the company’s core in the Carolinas, then open up stores in adjacent markets after that.
This year, Bojangles’ announced plans to expand its presence in Washington, D.C., for instance. In August, the company also said it plans to open new restaurants in north Florida, and its first in Mobile, Ala.
As of late September, Bojangles’ had a total of 749 restaurants, mostly in the Southeast.