Address: 1122 Dawsonville Highway, Suite 500, Gainesville
Opens: June 13
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Phone number: 678-971-1640
Chicken salad lovers will have no shortage of flavor options at a restaurant coming to Dawsonville Highway in just more than a week.
Chicken Salad Chick, slated for a June 13 opening, offers 12 varieties of chicken salad, plus two types of pimento cheese.
The company started after founder Stacy Brown was forced to open a restaurant because a health inspector alerted her she couldn’t sell chicken salad out of her home. Her first restaurant opened in Auburn, Ala.
The Gainesville location will mark the 75th Chicken Salad Chick location, with others in Athens, Alpharetta and Roswell.
“The American dream is still alive for somebody to be able to do that,” said Bob Wiggins, franchisee and operator of the North Lake Square location. “It makes me feel good that those stories are still out there.”
The restaurant features chicken salad recipes named after women who have been influential in the founder’s life. They range from the “Classic Carol,” which is a more traditional variety, to the “Fancy Nancy,” which includes apples, grapes and pecans. Other chicken salads include the “Sassy Scotty” with ranch, bacon and shredded cheddar cheese, and the “Dixie Chick,” which is labeled on the menu as the “‘most offensive salad,’ definitely for the onion lover.”
Chicken Salad Chick includes a drive-through and will be closed on Sundays.
Giveaways are planned for June 13-17, including a pound of free chicken salad each week for a year for the first person in line on opening day and a free pound of chicken salad each month for the next 99 people in line.
The Gainesville restaurant has photos, taken by Wiggins, of prominent Hall County locations, including Lake Lanier Olympic Park; Browns Bridge; the Atlanta Botanical Garden, A Smithgall Woodland Legacy, in Gainesville; and Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s Gainesville campus.
Wiggins said he has a feeling customers will respond well to the creative branding of Chicken Salad Chick. He enjoys the energetic and fun approach of the company.
Wiggins said Gainesville and Hall government officials have been supportive in helping him get started. Wiggins has already enjoyed meeting people in the community, including some who have walked in thinking the restaurant was already open.
He is hiring 50 people for the restaurant and is still accepting applicants by email.
Wiggins previously served as an owner/operator of a Chick-fil-A in Valdosta before later owning seven CiCi’s Pizza restaurants. He sold all of his remaining CiCi’s locations in 2007. It took a growing brand like Chicken Salad Chick to pull him back into the restaurant business, he said. The company is building between 20 and 25 stores this year.
The Chicken Salad Chick restaurants first came on Wiggins’ radar after his wife met Stacy Brown and her husband on a beach trip and told Wiggins this was something “special” and “different” that he needed to do. Years later, Penny Wiggins is working alongside Bob Wiggins, largely through social media and marketing, helping the idea she planted become a reality.