Otter’s spreads wings in new market

NASHVILLE Tenn. Otter’s Chicken Tenders, a fast-casual concept founded here in 2003, opened its fourth store in mid-December in Lafayette, La., the first outside of the Nashville market.

Otter’s plans to open its first franchised store in March in Murfreesboro, Tenn., according to co-owner Stuart Ottinger.


The Lafayette store is the company’s first freestanding site, covering 2,808 square feet and seating 88 indoors and 25 on a patio. The chain, which also serves beer and wine, has a weekday check average of $8.50 per person and a weekend check average of $12.50 per person, Ottinger said.

The Lafayette store’s operating partner is Mari Alesi, whose family owns and operates the 50-year-old Alesi’s Pizza, also in Lafayette.

“Otter’s has proven its ability to compete with national brands and we feel that we have been able to differentiate ourselves from other chicken concepts,” Ottinger said.

The Lafayette store, which opened Dec. 18, was designed by The Innovations Group of Franklin, Tenn. It includes a call-ahead drive-up window, a bar area with multiple plasma televisions and a private room available for groups.

In addition to serving fried, grilled and buffalo chicken, Otter’s Chicken Tenders also serves several appetizers, including fried pickles and fried mushrooms.