Scott Davis runs 31 Sonics across Arkansas and Tennessee. He recognized that he was at the end of the line when it came to expanding that brand. That’s why he latched onto Slim Chickens, vowing to open as many as seven of the Arkansas-based chicken chain in the Memphis area.
“For us, timing was everything. It was just the perfect time to get into it,” he said. “We just kind of ran out of geographical areas to grow Sonic without going way out of state.”
Davis opened his first Slim Chickens in Southaven at Silo Square in July 2019. Davis said the location has far exceeded his expectations. In fact, it’s apparently the busiest store within the brand.
On tap is a new Slim Chickens in Collierville in March 2021 followed by one in Bartlett in May. This is by design.
“My strategy for a market like Memphis was really go into the suburbs first, and establish a strong presence and really get involved with your chambers, your city officials, your schools,” Davis said.
Davis’ partners in the brand are Cody Davis as VP/franchisee; Josh Rowden, director of operations/franchisee; Rick Davis; David Hull; and Justin Rowden.
He plans to open five local spots, at minimum.
COVID-19 has not stopped expansion plans.
“We’ve been very blessed, and business is just booming,” he said.
In the first few weeks of the pandemic, they had to figure out how to go forward. They set up kiosks to collect payments, used tablets, ramped up curbside delivery, and made use of the company’s app.
As for food, Davis recommends the restaurant’s “three in three” option. He gets the tenders, bone-in wings, and the fried mushrooms, with Korean barbecue sauce for the wings and honey mustard sauce and cayenne ranch sauce for the mushrooms.
“It will change your life,” he said.
Davis said that expanding into the Memphis market was a no-brainer.
“It boggles my mind that it took this long for us to get in the market,” he said. “When you look at it on paper, it makes sense. When I think of Memphis, I think Delta Blues, Southern hospitality, and so for us, [Slim Chickens is] that.”
Frank Dyer and Barry Maynard of Gill Properties represent Slim Chickens.