Church’s Chicken Sells 70 Restaurants to New Operator
Continuing a national trend of franchisors offloading corporate-run restaurants, Church’s Chicken announced the sale of 70 restaurants to a new franchise operator with a goal of helping the company accelerate its reimaging program and expanding local influence in two of the brand’s most important markets.
The 70 restaurants were sold to Texas-based Ampler Chicken LLC, and in a separate deal Church’s sold six Atlanta-area locations to existing franchise operator Sal Kabiruddin of KSH Chicken Restaurants LLC.
“Texas is the birthplace of Church’s Chicken, and our headquarters are in Atlanta. These are both critical territories,” said Joe Christina, CEO of Church’s. “These two areas offer future strategic growth opportunities for the brand in the year ahead. Ampler Chicken is led by industry veterans with a successful track record overseeing the operations of thousands of restaurants. We’re excited and confident that these franchisees will bring energy and enthusiasm to all teams involved.”
The company said the year ahead is expected to be one of renewed energy and for the 65-year-old Church’s brand. In 2017, it made several changes to its executive leadership, agency structure, international growth strategy, and franchisee relationships.
“While the ownership of these restaurants is changing, our company values and dedication to exceptional taste, quality, and service continues and is more important than ever,” Christina added. “Our goal is to create great Church’s experiences guests love, and to more effectively produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide our organization. We are confident that this transition will give these restaurants new, meaningful opportunities to connect with guests and continue our 65-year tradition of excellence.”
With the sale, Ampler Chicken will be the third-largest multi-unit Church’s franchisee in the country, and the fourth-largest in the world. Ampler Chicken is sponsored by an investment firm with a permanent capital source and a long operating history in Texas. The group’s leadership includes Steve Wiborg, a veteran of the industry with more than 30 years at the franchisee and executive level for global brands such as Burger King. Joining Wiborg on the leadership team is Mike Collins, a former Burger King franchisee of the year with considerable operational expertise.
“All of us at Ampler Chicken are honored and excited about our partnership with one of the most respected restaurant brands in the world,” said Wiborg. “We are committed to making these restaurants an extraordinary experience for guests and team members alike.”
Peak Franchise Capital acted as the advisor to Church’s on the refranchising to Ampler Chicken.