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With new menu built around boneless chicken, Bojangles is ready to grow nationally

CEO Jose Armario shares how the chain’s pared down menu is helping it finally become a national brand.


Bojangles, the North Carolina-based franchise known for its chicken and biscuits, is beloved in the Southeast for its scratch-made cooking and Southern hospitality. The company has grown to 800-plus locations in nearly 50 years, with restaurants primarily spread across the South.

Outside the Southeast, Bojangles has struggled to find traction. Past attempts to grow north and west fizzled.

Now, however, the company thinks it has finally found the right strategy to expand outside the Southeast. While historically Bojangles has emphasized a bone-in chicken product, the company has developed a pared-down menu that puts boneless chicken front and center. The menu is easier to execute, thereby allowing franchisees to put their best foot forward to new guests in growth markets.

CEO Jose Armario joined the latest episode of Take-Away with Sam Oches to talk about the decision to emphasize boneless chicken, the secrets to its massive cult-like following, and how he thinks Bojangles is on track to be a household name all across the country.

In this conversation, you’ll learn more about why:

  • Status as a cult-favorite starts with the food
  • Strong execution is the foundation for robust expansion
  • Go where your customers want you to go
  • The adoption of AI requires a careful balancing act
  • People don’t leave companies; they leave managers
  • You can’t run restaurants from your computer

Contact Sam Oches at [email protected].

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