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The Ultimate Golden Crunch: What to Look for in a Fried Chicken Franchise

Investing in fried chicken franchises presents a promising opportunity, as discussed, owing to enduring consumer demand, strong brand support from established names like Bojangles’, and the potential for scalability and profitability in expanding markets.


Fried chicken franchises have been surging in popularity throughout the United States.

In fact, more Americans are eating chicken at a rate that far eclipses beef, due to taste, price point, and variety. While chicken can be prepared in a number of ways, people resoundingly prefer fried chicken above all other styles. Because of this, fried chicken franchises are wildly popular – not just among consumers, but also entrepreneurs, who see those tender, golden pieces of chicken as revenue.

So with all of the fried chicken franchise brands on the market today, how does an entrepreneur or potential franchisee pick the right one? What should you look for in a fried chicken franchise?

Navigating a Competitive Market

The fried chicken business may seem like a very competitive market at first glance. There are many brands and a wide audience, so what makes one different from the other?

Brand Recognition

Most people can name more fried chicken franchises than any burger or pizza places – that’s because fried chicken is extremely popular and there has been a growing proliferation of establishments for the past 40 years. While a decade or two ago, people could name maybe two or three fried chicken franchises, today there are many more options available, giving consumers the ability to find exactly what they crave.

Fried Chicken Franchises and Fresh Ingredients

Do people stop to consider where their food comes from? Very recently, there was a large shift in the market. People demand fresher ingredients and want food that is prepared in-house. On top of that, they demanded better customer service. This has placed some of the biggest fried chicken franchises in an awkward place in the market. They cannot guarantee fresh ingredients or food made from homemade recipes daily. The people control market demand, which has a cascading effect on the success of fried chicken franchises throughout the United States.

A Menu People Crave

While many fried chicken franchises offer standard fare, Bojangles gives people what they crave – from our hand breaded boneless chicken tenders and wide range of delectable sauces to our extensive sides and our Legendary Iced Tea.

With more people craving boneless tenders made with original recipes, Bojangles stands above the competition, making new customers and creating returning ones because they just can’t get enough of our menu. From our popular breakfast menu to our boneless chicken tenders and hand crafted sides – at a table or on the go – it’s always Bo* Time, and that means prospective franchisees have a built-in source of revenue that people crave and demand!

Franchising Opportunities

Franchise investors need to know where they can franchise, and if the brand they are aligning with offers single or multiple outlets. After all, locations equal revenue, and having room for multiple establishments only multiplies growth potential. Raising Cane’s, Chick-Fil-A and the other heavy-hitters among fried chicken franchises aren’t even franchising these days.

The market is so saturated by franchises offering the same old standards that the only room for growth is from opportunities that offer unique experiences with great menus that offer traditional, homestyle recipes served by people who know what customers crave. There are no opportunities to secure dedicated markets without purchasing an already open establishment at a heavy markup.

Bojangles is constantly expanding, offering savvy entrepreneurs and investors fried chicken franchise opportunities with multiple-unit establishments to maximize their returns and grow their portfolios.

Growth Potential for Fried Chicken Franchises

The first logical question for any entrepreneur, investor, or potential franchisee is, “If the fried chicken franchise market is so competitive, is there any room for growth?” The heavy hitters in the fried chicken business are reaching a point of saturation, meaning they are having difficulty finding new locations where there is demand for their product. Additionally, opening new locations threatens to take revenue from existing fried chicken franchises under the same banner because territories might overlap.

To choose the best among the large list of chicken franchises, entrepreneurs and investors need to look at the capacity for growth. In this case, fried chicken franchises with regional appeal have tremendous momentum as they reach into new markets. Bojangles, for instance, is extremely popular in the Atlantic South and along the Gulf Coast. Recently, Bojangles has tested demand in other regions across the United States, venturing into the West Coast, Ohio, and many other states – to resounding interests.


Starting a fried chicken business by investing in a franchise is a great way to tap into an extremely popular market with high demand and the potential for growth, but what about reputation? Not all fried chicken franchises are created equal, and brand reputation can mean the difference between success and struggle.

Among the list of fried chicken franchises in the USA, Bojangles stands out because of its history and reputation. Since 1977, Bojangles has been serving fried chicken, biscuits, and sides made from real recipes and served with a smile. The reputation for fresh ingredients and a venue where customers are treated like family has boosted Bojangles ahead in the fried chicken franchise market. The food, atmosphere, and adherence to core values going back over 40 years have done more than just garner new and returning customers – Bojangles has an excited and enthusiastic fan base that follows everything that happens, tries new menu selections and combinations, and celebrates milestones and new franchise locations.

Fried Chicken Franchise Price Points

For prospective franchisees and investors alike, bottom-line numbers are just as important as reputation and growth trajectory. So what does it take to launch a fried chicken franchise?

Well, for those looking at the heavy hitters, the total start-up costs are around $2 million, and that is just for a single, basic establishment. There is no guarantee for success, and since those fried chicken franchises have, as stated above, saturated their markets, so there is no dedicated customer base and locations within a small radius are taking revenue from one another.

A growing fried chicken franchise like Bojangles – with dedicated fans and an eager customer base ready for establishments in new territories – has competitive start-up costs. The big reason for this is that while the other fried chicken franchises try to proliferate their brand with expensive marketing and celebrities, Bojangles focuses on fresh ingredients, the best customer service, and establishments where people love to gather. The food and service carry the reputation, allowing entrepreneurs to launch multiple Bojangles fried chicken franchises at once for far less than the cost of a single franchise operation with one of the other brands.

The Top 3 Fried Chicken Franchises in the USA

Now that you know what to look for in a fried chicken franchise, here are the Top 3 by growth, reputation, demand, and start-up cost:

  1. Bojangles

    Bojangles started in 1977 and has been providing the best fried chicken and sides to their fans. The favorite fried chicken franchise in the South, Bojangles is famous for its breakfast menu, Legendary Iced Tea, and customer service where everyone is treated like family. 

Bojangles continues to grow, expanding beyond their original territory in the Southeast and spreading to the West Coast, the Midwest, and the American Southwest, with available markets throughout the United States. 

  • U.S. Reach: Growing into nationwide markets.
  • Startup Costs: $720,220 to $3,779,700 (depending on location type and number of initial franchises).
  • Diversity Initiatives: Yes, with up to 50% savings on Bojangles franchising fees, and reduced royalties.
  1. KFC

    KFC has undergone rebranding several times, and their fried chicken franchises dot the country. Their “secret blend of herbs and spices” and color scheme are well known, though the territory with untapped audiences is sparse.

  • Market Reach: National but stagnating due to saturation
  • Startup Costs: $1.4 million minimum for single-unit establishment
  • Diversity Initiatives: N/A
  1. Popeyes

    Popeyes prides itself on Cajun-style food prepared on-site. They offer inexpensive meals and “Southern Hospitality.” The brand is currently looking to reframe its brand in a bid to gain better standing in wider markets. 

  • Market Reach: Semi-national
  • Startup Costs: $1.25 to $2.5 million and up
  • Diversity Initiatives: N/A

Finding The Perfect Fried Chicken Franchise

In a highly competitive market full of fried chicken franchises, finding one where brand recognition, cost, fresh ingredients, and growth potential can seem daunting, but only one stands out from the rest.

If you want to launch a fried chicken franchise, look no further than Bojangles. Our team and incredible fans will be at your side to ensure success as you become part of the fastest-growing brand in the fried chicken franchise market.


It’s Bo* Time!