Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits

Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits
Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits
Type Private
Industry Food
Founded 1977
Headquarters Charlotte, North Carolina
Number of locations close to 500[1]
Key people Jack Fulk, Richard Thomas (Founders), Randy Kibler (CEO)
Products Fast food, including fried chicken, biscuits

Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits is a regional chain of fast food restaurants based in Charlotte, North Carolina, specializing in spicy, "Cajun" fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits. The restaurants, named for the song written by Jerry Jeff Walker, are also known for their distinctive side dishes including dirty rice, Cajun-style pinto beans, and seasoned french fries, and specialty sweet tea.

Founded in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1977 by Jack Fulk and Richard Thomas, Bojangles' grew rapidly to over 200 locations by 1984, only to see its growth rate slow in the early 1990s. The company grew substantially in recent years to over 400 locations,[2] in 10 states, mostly in the American South (North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, Virginia) and the Mid-Atlantic States of Maryland and Pennsylvania. Recently, a location opened in the food court of the historic Union Station in Washington, DC. There are also international Bojangles' locations in Honduras.[3] The Wall Street Journal in 2008 ranked Bojangles' as one of "25 High-Performing Franchises."[4]


Jack Fulk sold the Bojangles' concept to the now defunct New York company, The Horn & Hardart Company,[5] in 1981. Horn and Hardart had pioneered "fast food"[6] in another era with the use of coin operated automats, the last of which was located on 42nd Street in New York City and was closed in 1991. Horn and Hardart was a publicly held company and raised large amounts of capital for expansion of the Bojangles' chain.

During the time of Horn and Hardart's ownership the chain grew rapidly and expanded to 457 restaurants including 123 restaurants in Florida. Part of this growth was fueled by acquisitions including the Florida based Biskits chain. The conversion of the Biskits restaurants was unsuccessful and saddled the company with a large amount of new debt. Several events brought about a modicum of stability in the late 1980s even while many of the company's largest markets were closed. When Hurricane Hugo struck the Carolinas, the company was able to open many of its restaurants while electricity remained off for more than a week in many areas. The massive amount of business sparked a turn-around in the company's sales that continued for many years. The company was stabilized under the leadership of CEO John Bifone, and a settlement was reached with the franchise association which had threatened the company.

In 1990, Horn and Hardart sold most of its interest to Sienna Partners and Interwest Partners, which were managed by a group of young California venture capitalists based in Silicon Valley. The company was then headed by former KFC executive, Dick Campbell. After modest investment in facilities, training and operations, the company began a slow and steady improvement that lasted throughout most of the 1990s. In 1994 the company attempted a public offering which collapsed before completion based upon a "softening" of the performance and over-expansion of company units and franchisee acquisitions. Dick Campbell was replaced by CEO Jim Peterson. Again the company stabilized and improved its performance, eventually selling to a group of investors headed by former Wendy's executive Joe Drury [7] and financed by FMAC in 1998.

Bojangles' was purchased one more time in 2007 by Falfurrias Capital Partners,[8] a private equity firm. The investment group includes Hugh L. McColl Jr., founder and chairman of Falfurrias Capital Partners and former chairman and chief executive of Bank of America, and Jerry Richardson, founder and president of the NFL Carolina Panthers.

Quick serve restaurant veteran Randy Kibler was named CEO of the company in 2007.[9] Kibler started his career in 1970 at a Spartan Foods-owned Hardee's location in Columbia, S.C. Working his way up the ranks, Kibler later worked at Flagstar Cos. Inc., where he served as senior vice president and then president and chief operating officer of the 600-restaurant Hardee’s division, as well as president and chief operating officer of Quincy’s Family Steakhouse and vice president of the western division of Denny's. Starting in 2002, Kibler was a partner in companies that served as developers and area representatives for Firehouse Restaurant Group Inc., the franchisor of Firehouse Subs. Kibler has focused on Bojangles' Cajun spiced chicken, buttermilk biscuits and iced tea menu items.


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