Saturday, July 25, 2020

[OPENING ALERT] Chicken Salad Chicken to Debut Next Month in Johns Creek (Suwanee)

This past February, we shared news that Chicken Salad Chick was planning to open a new location in Johns Creek/Suwanee.  We are delighted to announce that the opening day is upon us!  The new eatery, located near the corner of McGinnis Ferry Road and Peachtree Parkway in Johns Creek Town Center, is slated to open in the third week in August, potentially as early as Tuesday August 18!  The center is anchored by Kohl's, Sprouts Farmers Market, PetSmart, Lowe's and Stein-Mart, and recently welcomed a new ULTA.  
The new Chicken Salad Chick replaces Cheeseburger Bobby's which closed in the 2,500 square foot space this past February, weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the restaurant industry.  ToNeTo Atlanta had the opportunity to speak with Chicken Salad Chick Vice President of Marketing Tom Carr about the Johns Creek opening, how the brand is adjusting to the pandemic, and future plans for the company in metro Atlanta.  

Started as a single eatery in Auburn, Alabama in 2008, Chicken Salad Chick has blossomed into a 160+ unit chain with several more restaurants slated to open before the Johns Creek debut.  In all, Carr tells us that the company projects that it will open 34 restaurants in 2020, tremendous growth in any year, but even more impressive when you consider that the pandemic is still ongoing and America is seeing record numbers of restaurant closures.  Carr said the company is "super optimistic" about its prospects moving forward.  

In Georgia, where the company already operates 30 restaurants, more are planned as Chicken Salad Chick focuses on northern suburban cities and communities such as in Gwinnett County near Mall of Georgia, Snellville and potentially, Tucker, too, among other markets.  

Chicken Salad Chick has experimented with several new service models over the past few months including "pop-up drive-thrus" at inline locations and "community pop-ups" in areas where they don't yet have a presence but have seen interest via social media and other platforms.  The latter offering has allowed the company to gauge actual product interest in certain communities with Carr telling us that in basically every instance, the reception has been "overwhelmingly positive."  

About 30 percent of the company's restaurant network features a drive-thru, and plans call for more units to include it in the future.  In addition to drive-thru units, the company in recent months established partnerships with DoorDash and Uber Eats to drive sales at restaurants where in many cases, dining rooms were closed to the public.  So called "community drop offs" have also been a success for the company during COVID-19 with brand fans in markets not yet served by the restaurant coordinating centralized drop offs for the restaurant to test the waters in new markets.  Customers are able to pre-order food and pick it up from a designated community location.  

The opening in Johns Creek will be similar in many ways to the company's recent opening in Loganville.  Whereas as a typical Chicken Salad Chick opening would be a very crowded social event, the company has modified their opening festivities to encourage social distancing and ensure a safe and enjoyable visit for patrons.  In years past, a Chicken Salad Chick opening would be similar to that of a Chick-fil-A opening where eager patrons line up hours in advance for the opportunity to win free food for a year.  The first 100 patrons would be awarded 12 free Quick Chick meals: one a month for a year.  In Johns Creek, however, there will be no such line.  Instead, patrons can arrive at the restaurant as early as 7AM to receive a numbered Chicken Salad Chick fan.  Patrons will then be invited to return later in the day, closer to opening, in groups of ten, to be awarded their prize.  Rather than awarding the first person to arrive with free food every week for a year, one participant will be randomly selected from the first 100 to receive the special prize.  

Chicken Salad Chick has in recent months established a significant corporate presence in metro Atlanta and while there are no current plans to relocate the company from Auburn, the metro area is definitely a significant part of their business.  

Are you excited for the upcoming opening of Chicken Salad Chick in Johns Creek?  What is your favorite Chicken Salad Chick variety?  Where would you like to see Chicken Salad Chick open next?

Please share your thoughts below.  

3 comments:

LostinAtlanta said...

Please come to Tucket!!! We need you!!

Anonymous said...

That's great to see a restaurant opening. I like the original chicken salad but would try more if there was a location close by. Have only been to the Alpharetta location. Hope they come to Tucker.

Howard said...

I'm shocked they haven't opened one in the Perimeter/Dunwoody/Sandy Springs area. They would make a killing on office catering alone. With a lot of the unfortunate restaurant closures, maybe they could take on of those spaces. Zinburger would be a great location for them.

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