CALLAWAY — The commute to Slim Chickens is about to get a lot easier for Callaway residents as the new restaurant opens its doors Monday.
Slim Chickens at 518 N. Tyndall Parkway, next to RibCrib, will open as the third location in Bay County, with other locations in Panama City and Lynn Haven. Hours are daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with drive-thru hours extended through midnight on Friday and Saturday.
The brand expanded its franchise to Bay County in 2020 as Florida’s first location and has since opened four additional stores, including single locations in Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach.
Craig Hacklander, chief operating officer of North Florida Restaurant Group (NFRG), which owns all Slim Chickens locations in the Panhandle, said the Callaway location will allow Slim Chickens to cater to additional customers in Bay County.
“We’re making sure we do a good job to give feasible access to our customers in the area,” Hacklander said. “We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from our guests who visit the other Bay County locations, and I know they’ve been anxiously waiting for the new restaurant to open.”
Slim Chickens brings flavors of fresh and premium chicken tenderloins, wings and sandwiches hand-dipped in buttermilk each day, lightly hand-breaded and cooked to order. All sauces are prepared in-house.
The menu also includes salads and sides, including fries, ranch chips, mac and cheese, coleslaw, potato salad, fried pickles, fried okra and fried mushrooms.
“Our brand focuses on preparing fresh foods, and given that we add that Southern hospitality, it’s what sets us apart from a lot of other similar brands,” Hacklander said. “We try to be a good partner to the community we’re serving through great food and great service.”
Customers can look forward to a grand opening celebration within the next month, he said. While there is no set date, it will be announced on the Slim Chickens - Callaway Facebook Page.
Hacklander said NFRG is looking to open its final Panhandle location in Navarre later this year. The group plans to continue to expand across the Southeast and currently is eyeing locations in Georgia and Alabama.
“I think the Slim Chickens brand excels in the Southern region because of its Southern roots, so it fits the niche perfectly,” he said. “We have all the standards plus more that give our menus a bigger and broader feel that appeals to the South.”
Slim Chickens opened in 2003 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with a focus on fresh food with a Southern flair in a fast-casual setting. The brand operates more than 175 locations across 30 states, as well as international locations in the United Kingdom. Additionally, the brand is an emerging national and international franchise leading the “better chicken” segment with a goal of more than 600 restaurants during the next decade.
This article originally appeared on The News Herald: Slim Chickens' Callaway location opens; third in Bay County