Local franchisee signs deal with Slim Chickens

Published 12:18 pm Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Central Kentucky — including Winchester — will soon be home to some “life-changing chicken.”

Ryan Dotson, a local franchisee, signed a contract Tuesday to commit to bringing three Slim Chickens locations to the Bluegrass.

Dotson said the end goal would be to have about 13 locations in the area. Dotson said he would immediately begin the search for land to start building the first location, which he said will either be in Richmond or Georgetown.

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“We would like to purchase land immediately and would like to be open by fall of this year,” Dotson said.

Winchester, Dotson said, will get the second or the third Slim Chickens location.

Jackie Lobdell, executive director of franchise development at Slim Chickens, said the fast-casual restaurant specializes in fresh, handmade food, including chicken tenders, wings and more.

“Our concept is better chicken,” Lobdell said. “We are proud of the food that we serve. And everything is made fresh to order. We are very particular about the chicken that we get in.”

The chain, which started in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in 2003, has 17 dipping sauces, about 12 wing sauces and other varieties on its menu.

“The menu is broad enough that it can appeal to a pretty broad demographic,” Lobdell said. ”… Our workhorse is chicken tenders and fries. But we have wings and salads, and you can get grilled chicken instead of fried. We have sandwiches.

“There’s a phenomenal thing on the menu called chicken and waffles. That is like the best thing ever. And it’s unique to our brand.”

Dotson, who also owns a Steak ’n Shake franchise in the region as well as a Tomatoes and Flames franchise in Mount Sterling, said he thinks Slim Chickens will be a perfect fit for the Bluegrass.

Slim Chickens currently has locations in Ashland and Pikeville, and Lobdell said Slim Chickens is looking to open locations in the greater Bowling Green area, Louisville and southern Kentucky as well.

“Kentucky could be sold out before we know it,” Lobdell said.

About Lashana Harney

Lashana Harney is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. Her beats include schools and education, business and commerce, Winchester Municipal Utilities and other news. To contact her, email lashana.harney@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0015.

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