What's In Store

Bojangles’ to test delivery service in Charlotte

Bojangles’ will soon start testing a delivery service in its hometown of Charlotte.

In a call with investors, CEO Clifton Rutledge said the chicken-and-biscuits chain had a “challenging fiscal quarter.” It will be available in 10 restaurants, multiple news outlets report. The service, executives say, could help offset a slump in sales.

“Without a doubt, we are operating in a very competitive retail environment, but this is especially true for regional limited-service restaurant brands,” Rutledge said in a call, Nation’s Restaurant News reported. “The persistent headwinds affecting our industry are significant.”

Rutledge also said the company would consider expanding the program if it results in an uptick in sales. He did not indicate which Charlotte restaurants will offer the service within the coming months.

“This will be a limited test focusing on gathering data and real-world learnings to help make the best-informed decisions regarding future efforts toward delivery,” he said.

Bojangles’ delivery is already available through a handful of different services throughout Charlotte, including Postmates, Doordash and GrubHub .

The announcement comes after a disappointing earnings report for the local restaurant chain.

For the third quarter, Bojangles’ said in a securities filing that net income fell nearly 31 percent to $7 million. Total sales crept up 0.2 percent to $133.4 million. But same-store sales – an industry metric that refers to sales at stores open at least one year – fell 2.2 percent system-wide over the quarter, Bojangles’ said.

Bojangles’, which started in Charlotte in 1977, went public in 2015. Since then, the chain has been gradually expanding its footprint beyond the Carolinas. This year, for instance, Bojangles’ announced plans to expand its presence in Washington, D.C.

North Carolina Business News Wire contributed.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta

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