The Best Chicken Franchises to Own in 2023 | Pollo Campero

Best Chicken Franchise

If you’re looking to break into the chicken restaurant franchise space in 2023, these are some of the top contenders.

Proving to be an especially strong one, the chicken restaurants segment was worth $55 billion in 2022. The market has consistently grown year-over-year, and consumers just keep coming. As such, a chicken franchise is a great investment opportunity in 2023. With a horde of options on the market, all with different offerings, investment levels and corporate support, here’s what you need to know.

Why You Should Consider Investing in a Chicken Franchise

The chicken franchise business model presents a range of opportunities, all of which offer a host of benefits. The franchise model at large is an appealing approach to business development due to the support owners can receive in exchange for their franchise fee and ongoing royalty fees. Franchises are often seen as a prime jumping-off point for green investors and entrepreneurs since they provide a proven business model and have already established a strong brand awareness. However, the opportunity can also be beneficial for more seasoned investors who are looking to expand their portfolio without taking on the commitment of building a brand from the ground up.

Chicken restaurants, specifically, present a strong opportunity within the franchise space. Chicken is a high-demand food product in the U.S. with per capita chicken consumption coming in at about 100 pounds in 2022. Better yet, chicken is an incredibly versatile food product. Between hot wings, fried drumsticks, baked breasts, grilled thighs and the countless other cut and preparation style combinations, chicken restaurants can differentiate themselves fairly easily by finding a specialty and perfecting those menu items.

Top Chicken Restaurant Franchises in 2023

For entrepreneurs looking to open a chicken restaurant franchise, the opportunities are varied and wide-reaching. These are some of the top franchise opportunities to open a chicken restaurant in 2023.

Popeyes Louisiana Chicken was founded in New Orleans in 1972. The franchise has over 40 years of culinary tradition and has continually evolved its offerings over the years; currently, it focuses primarily Cajun-style wings, sandwiches and signature chicken. According to Entrepreneur, the initial investment to open a Popeyes can range from around $384,000 to $3.5 million.

Chick-fil-A is the chicken concept that, as it says, “didn’t invent the chicken, just the chicken sandwich.” The franchise has since expanded its menu to include salads, wraps, nuggets, tenders and even breakfast and has become a staple in many communities. However, it can be incredibly difficult to franchise with as the brand is highly selective and requires owners to devote their time to owning and operating a single unit with no possibility for expansion to additional units.

Wingstop is a chicken restaurant franchise focused specifically on buffalo chicken wings. Founded in 1994, the franchise has decades of experience and continues to grow. The initial investment to open a Wingstop starts around $315,000 and stops just short of $1 million.

Bojangles is a Southern-style chicken franchise with a primary offering of fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits and sweet tea. Founded in 1977, the franchise has seen consistent growth and is now approaching the thousand unit mark between open and in-development units. The initial investment required to open a Bojangles starts at nearly $2 million but can exceed $3 million, placing it on the higher end of the investment range scale. 

Buffalo Wild Wings is another wing-focused chicken concept, but it also boasts a sports bar feel. Franchising since 1991, Buffalo Wild Wings has established a franchise network of over 1,200 restaurants. According to Entrepreneur, the initial investment to start a Buffalo Wild Wings starts around $2.5 million but can climb as high as $4.6 million. 

Zaxby’s is a fast-casual chicken restaurant that offers chicken wings, chicken fingers, salads, sandwiches and classic starters and sides. With a network of just under 1,000 restaurants, primarily concentrated in the Southeast, Zaxby’s has a slightly smaller footprint than other competitors. 

Pollo Campero is a multinational chicken franchise. Founded in Guatemala in 1971, the franchise has spent decades perfecting both its recipes and business model. With over 350 restaurants globally, it is targeting the U.S. for expansion. The total initial investment required to start a Pollo Campero franchise is $1,287,250–$2,491,500.

Why Franchise a Pollo Campero?

Pollo Campero offers an ideal balance of the classic traits consumers are looking for and the refreshing details that can be found nowhere else. The concept began as a family restaurant in Guatemala in 1971 and quickly became a fan favorite. As it has continued to expand, growing to become a multinational chain, Pollo Campero has built a loyal following of Campero fans that flock to new restaurant openings as they develop across the U.S.

With a unique recipe and preparation process, Pollo Campero chicken is marinated to the bone before being Campero Fried or Citrus Grilled. This offers a Central American flavor profile that simply is not available at other chicken restaurants, and it is a key part of Pollo Campero’s larger menu offerings. In addition to traditional chicken salads, chicken sandwiches and boneless wings, Pollo Campero offers empanadas, the Campero Bowl, family meals and unique sides, including Campero Rice, Campero Beans, yuca fries and sweet plantains.

However, Pollo Campero’s dear place in consumers’ hearts is not its only differentiator. It also boasts a strong, experienced leadership team and a business model that has been honed for optimal performance. As the franchise pursues aggressive growth in the States, it realizes the importance of individual franchisee support and success.

Franchisees who invest with Pollo Campero receive both thorough training upfront and ongoing support to inform their operations as they scale. The initial training for Pollo Campero franchisees includes an overview of the technology used in the business, the importance of the quality of the Pollo Campero products, the different demands associated with managing a restaurant and steps to ensure consistency in unit-level operations.

This level of support continues throughout the franchisee life cycle. With a primary Support Center in Dallas, Texas, Pollo Campero is staffed and equipped to assist franchisees across the nation. Continued support can include guidance to help a franchisee achieve their personal long-term goals, support in better understanding financials, advice on hiring employees and reducing turnover rates, and more information on how to control the cost of goods.

The Pollo Campero brand, community and business model is built on what some in the network call the three P’s: passion, people and profitability. Over the years, Pollo Campero has leveraged the passion of both its internal teams and loyal customers to evolve the brand as necessary, keeping the Campero way front of mind as it continues to expand and drive profitability.

How to Choose the Right Chicken Franchise

Which franchise is “right” can vary widely between franchisees. When choosing the chicken franchise that is right for you, it is important to consider both standard business and market factors as well as your own skills, professional history and long-term goals.

Factors to consider include the size of the initial investment, financial requirements posed by the franchisor, royalty rates, whether a business has high overhead costs for ongoing operations and where the franchise is looking to expand. Some of these are entirely non-negotiable, and others, like the royalty rates, may present a bit more flexibility but still weigh heavily on franchisees’ decisions. You should also consider the importance of entering a specific niche within the chicken restaurant market. Maybe you want to focus solely on chicken wings or a chicken restaurant that offers truly unique flavors and recipes. If this is less important, and you are confident in the business model of wider-ranging, more generic chicken concepts, that may widen the search.

Some franchisors will offer market statistics, but part of the search should include independent research. Understanding both broad market demand and the demand that exists in your own community will lead to a more informed investment decision, allowing you to open a successful business while bringing a truly desired offering to your own local community.

Throughout this process, personal and lifestyle goals should also be a consideration. Some franchise concepts will require owners to serve as owner-operators, working both in and on the business on a consistent basis, while others leave allowance for semi-absentee and absentee ownership.

Much of this information is outlined in research materials available from the franchisor. In addition to information available online, franchisors will provide a Franchise Disclosure Document for review. This document contains multiple key pieces of information and should be reviewed carefully and thoroughly. After narrowing the selection pool based on menu offerings, broadly available information about the brand culture, initial investment requirements and available markets, the Franchise Disclosure Document becomes the source of truth for details about the ins and outs of the franchise agreement, more information about the leadership team, prior litigation associated with the brand, financial representations and the other details necessary to finalize the decision.

<H2>The State of the Chicken Restaurant Segment

Worth $55 billion in 2022 and growing, the chicken restaurant segment is thriving. Though this is a competitive landscape, the industry offers the potential for success for many due to the nature of chicken itself and the differentiators that can be applied.

According to South Florida Reporter, Americans consume 8 billion chickens per year, or over 80 pounds each, and the demand for chicken in its various forms continues to empower an attractive market. Chicken offers a relatively affordable, health-conscious meal option that is both friendly to menu innovation and easily customizable to address consumer preferences. In the context of a chicken restaurant, these factors only serve to strengthen the business model and create longevity for owners.

Open a Chicken Franchise Today

Among the range of chicken franchises on the market, Pollo Campero is a standout option, leveraging one-of-a-kind menu offerings and second-to-none franchisee support systems to build an incredible multinational franchise system.

With a meaningful value proposition, proven adaptability over the years, a well-established branding and marketing strategy, efficient operations and an unbeatable guest experience, Pollo Campero has established its strength as a legacy brand and an ideal opportunity for passionate entrepreneurs.

Request franchise details for more information on how to become a part of this iconic, quickly growing brand.