Church’s to expand into U.K. by absorbing Dixy franchises

LONDON Church’s Chicken said it is expanding into the United Kingdom in part through the conversion of Dixy Fried Chicken restaurants into franchised units of Texas Chicken, the identity that Church’s uses overseas.

Dixy’s franchisees will continue to operate the stores as franchisees of Church’s.

The franchisor, which will also open a U.K. support office, said 36 restaurants would be converted by the end of March, with a total of 50 expected before the year’s end. The majority of those stores currently operate as Dixy outlets, according Church’s.

The UK expansion is the quick-service chicken concept’s second foray into the European market. Several restaurants opened in Russia last December.

According to Church’s, the new UK stores will make Texas Chicken the second-largest quick-service chicken concept in that nation.

Harsha V. Agadi, Church’s chief executive, said in a statement that the U.K. restaurants would be position as alternatives to KFC.

Church's, with 1,600 units in 19 countries, said it is also planning expansion into India later this year. Church’s is owned by Cajun Operating Co.