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Fayetteville-Based Slim Chickens to Expand to UK in 2018


A Fayetteville-based restaurant chain is set to open their first of several planned locations in the United Kingdom this winter.

Slim Chickens this week announced a partnership with London-based Boparan Restaurant Group to open several locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, beginning with a location in London set to open in the next few months.

Slim Chickens co-founders Greg Smart and Tom Gordon

“This is another landmark moment in our brand’s growth,” says Tom Gordon, co-founder and CEO of Slim Chickens. “We’re spreading our wings and bringing our second-to-none chicken to another international market and are excited about continuing our international growth.”

It isn’t the first international location for the restaurant chain, which got its start on College Avenue in Fayetteville in 2003. The restaurant also opened its first of several planned restaurants in the Middle East and Northern Africa last year in Kuwait.

Boparan Restaurant Group reportedly employs 2,500 people, and is one of fastest growing companies in the UK. The company operates several popular restaurant concepts in Europe, including Giraffe World Kitchen, Burgers & Cocktails, Fishworks, Ed’s Easy Diner, and others.

According to a press release issued this week, Boparan chose to bring Slim Chickens to the UK because of their “superior product and modern approach to branding and design.”

“In the U.K. there’s a big opportunity in the fast-casual chicken segment with little existing competition in the marketplace,” said Tom Crowley, CEO of Boparan Restaurant Group. “We were looking for a progressive concept that would fill this gap and Slim Chickens was the perfect fit. We loved the product and the design and branding have a modern approach. We feel confident that Slim Chickens will be successful in the UK due to our connections here, paired with the brand’s strong leadership team helping fuel growth through strong operations.”

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Dustin Bartholomew is the co-founder of Fayetteville Flyer, an online publication covering all things news, art and life in Fayetteville, Arkansas since 2007. A graduate of the Department of English at the University of Arkansas and a lifelong resident of the area, he still lives in east Fayetteville with his son Hudson, daughter Evelyn, his wife Brandy, and his two dogs Lily and Steve. On occasion, he tickles the ivories in a local band called The Good Fear.

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