Look Who’s Franchising Now: Spring 2023 Edition


Spring has sprung, and with it, we’re seeing new and emerging restaurant concepts announce franchising. This quarter, we’re seeing a variety of new concepts take the next step in their development, from healthy, greens-focused concepts, to more indulgent fried chicken fare, and even plant-based dessert spots.

We have rounded up seven early and mid-stage restaurant concepts that have newly announced franchising in the past quarter.

From two fried chicken restaurants to milkshakes and vegan cookies, take a look at who’s franchising now.

The Budlong Hot Chicken – Chicago, Ill.

Nashville-style hot chicken sandwiches aren’t only found in the Southeast anymore: The Budlong Hot Chicken is a four-unit Nashville-inspired-Chicago-based hot chicken fast-casual concept with a simple menu of spicy chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders and macaroni and cheese. The company is owned and backed by Craveworthy Brands— a new restaurant group and emerging brand incubator that was created by former Jimmy John’s CEO Gregg Majewski in January.

The Budlong just began the process of franchising and is set to complete its FDD by April 1, with a goal of getting 50 units signed an/or in development in the first year. The company is in the process of building two corporate stores in Chicago and Dallas and plans to have 100 restaurants open by 2027. The Budlong is initially targeting the Midwest region and Texas “with other regions quickly to follow.”

The Southern fried Nashville hot chicken spot distinguishes itself from other competitors with a small, streamlined menu, made-to-order sandwiches with a customizable level of spice, and a competitive pricepoint.

The average check size is $23 and average store size is 1200-2000 square-feet.

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