As 2023 draws to a close, Southern Classic Chicken, a Louisiana-based fried chicken franchise, is celebrating a year marked by robust growth, strategic innovation and unwavering commitment to quality, even in the face of industry challenges.
“Despite a general downturn in the restaurant sector, with the restaurant industry experiencing sales declines of 8 to 17 percent, Southern Classic Chicken has maintained a steady volume of business,” says Tom Gerdes, Vice President of Brand Operations. “This resilience is a major testament to the brand’s strength and the loyalty of its customer base, who value the consistent, high-quality and affordable offerings even in tough times.”
Nowhere is this recession-resistant success more apparent than in SCC’s robust Average Unit Volume (AUV), which has impressively reached $3,974,144 this past year, according to the brand’s FDD. This figure underlines the effectiveness of Southern Classic Chicken’s simple yet powerful business model, which has been perfected over 35 years with superior quality food and exceptional value, deeply rooted in family traditions and a commitment to the finest ingredients. Its drive-thru and walk-up model, for example, a longstanding feature well before the COVID-19 pandemic, streamlines operations for franchisees and ensures quick service for customers.
But the Southern Classic Chicken brand certainly isn’t resting on its laurels. Most notably, 2023 saw the unveiling of a refreshed brand identity and a modernized restaurant prototype in Bossier City, Louisiana. This update not only enhances the visual appeal of the locations but also improves operational efficiency, particularly in the drive-thru segment. The new design is more than an aesthetic upgrade — it represents a commitment to ongoing improvement and adaptation to changing market demands.
So far, the new prototype restaurant in Bossier City has performed exceptionally well, consistently ranking among the top Southern Classic Chicken locations and contributing to an overall uptick in revenue.
“The country may experience a challenging economic environment in 2024, during which fast food and value-driven models like Southern Classic Chicken do very well,” says Nick Binnings, a Southern Classic Chicken franchisee based in Louisiana. “That opens up a window of opportunity for our brand and our franchise owners.”
Looking ahead to 2024, Southern Classic Chicken is poised for further expansion, buoyed by the successful integration of a new hybrid construction model, which promises faster build times and cost efficiency by leveraging building sections that are constructed off-site and then shipped to the location. The team is also exploring new revenue streams like loyalty and online ordering to keep up with changing consumer preferences.”
“These new stores will embody the refreshed brand identity, showcasing Southern Classic Chicken as a modern, efficient and appealing option for both new and loyal customers,” adds Gerdes. “All great franchise companies have a solid fleet of corporate restaurants that they run and operate in order to give credibility to the brand and test new products and processes before offering it to franchisees.”
Overall, the company remains deeply rooted in its family-oriented foundation, a legacy that began with founder Leon Fanning’s backyard fried chicken and has since grown into a beloved regional brand. This family-centric approach extends to the franchise model, with a focus on partnering with like-minded entrepreneurs who share the brand’s values and passion for quality.
“When it comes to the Southern Classic Chicken franchise, the product speaks for itself, the unit level economics are very attractive and now, with this new look, we believe that we align with, if not exceed, the competitive set,” says Thomas E. O’Keefe, the Managing Director of Southern Classic Chicken. “We have all the ingredients to take this franchise to new markets now that we’ve honed it to become a very unique and attractive franchise opportunity in today’s market. The time has never been better to join Southern Classic Chicken.”