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SOURCE Ezell's Famous Chicken
SEATTLE, Feb. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Success has been 30 years in the making for Ezell's Famous Chicken (www.ezellschicken.com), Seattle's fanatically loved fried chicken establishment, and its eminence keeps growing. A staple of the greater Puget Sound since the mid-80s, Ezell's is on the cusp of becoming a national name in chicken with its eleventh restaurant. Franchise opportunities abound, as Ezell's continues to combine everything one expects from a leading restaurant brand: great food, a sterling reputation and strong customer loyalty.
"We set out two years ago to build Ezell's Famous Chicken as a national brand," explained Dennis Waldron, who joined co-founders Lewis Rudd, Faye Stephens, and Darnell Rudd in this effort. "As the latest news demonstrates, the plan is working; Ezell's is growing at a remarkable pace. All of our franchise locations have outperformed forecasts, the expansion of national and international opportunities is the next step."
Ezell's has assembled all the pieces necessary to capture the devotion of fast-casual diners across the country. The company is expanding out from a rock-solid foundation. A Seattle icon, the brand has been well-respected for all of its 30 years in business. In an industry where frozen, processed foods are dominant and customer service is not always a top priority, Ezell's prides itself on its more traditional approach, including fresh, homemade food with character.
"Our mission has always been to see Ezell's Famous Fried Chicken grow into an international brand. I don't know anything more rewarding and inspiring than bringing that dream to reality," says owner Lewis Rudd. "From the beginning, we chose to use the best product and the best ingredients. Even before trans-fat-free was the law, we used trans-fat-free oils and continue to use 100-percent vegetable oils for all our frying. We believe in our motto, 'fresh, good, and fast!'"
Everyone who has tried Ezell's has been wowed, and that includes none other than Oprah Winfrey, as well as the readership of Esquire magazine. For her birthday party at Harpo Studios, Winfrey flew the co-founders out to Chicago to cook their famed chicken. She has added the restaurant's delicious fried chicken to her list of "favorite things." Meanwhile, readers of Esquire voted Ezell's "the most life-changing fried chicken in America." When a restaurant achieves these kinds of accolades, clearly they are doing something right.
That "something right" is marinating every piece of chicken to ensure a savory, tender treat all the way to the last bite. Ezell's Famous Chicken opts not to do things the easy way: everything is homemade, from peeled potatoes to hand-breaded chicken. The New Orleans-Creole-style flavorings bring just the right amount of spice to the equation. Despite the labor-intensive quality of Ezell's menu, restaurants still operate with healthy margins, and customers report exceptional quality of service.
During the last quarter of 2013, Ezell's fourth and fifth franchise stores opened in the Seattle area. Overall, the company is in the midst of 25% year-over-year growth. More recently, the tenth restaurant in the chain opened in Rainier Valley. As was the case with every other location, the new restaurant was met with great fanfare; the return on investment has exceeded everyone's expectations, setting the stage for even more growth.
With the addition of franchise locations, a variety of new items have been added to the menu. At the Mill Creek these new items have proven very popular, including Cajun fries, buffalo chicken tenders and beer-battered onion rings. Ezell's has also developed a lineup of five chicken sandwiches and five salads that will soon be introduced at their new restaurant in Mill Creek.
The partnership with Waldron has been instrumental in generating the momentum to grow Ezell's Famous Chicken from the friendly confines of Seattle onto the national stage. Before coming to Ezell's, he had overseen the growth of Cinnabon from a humble startup to a successful chain with 400 locations throughout the US and Canada. Waldron's experience in franchise operations, especially those critical early days, has made today's success possible.
Prospective franchisees across the nation are encouraged to contact the restaurant to learn about this remarkable business opportunity.
About Ezell's Famous Chicken
Founded in 1984 in Seattle's Central District, Ezell's Famous Chicken has eleven fast-casual restaurants in locations throughout the Greater Puget Sound area. For more information on the award-winning company, please visit www.ezellschicken.com, on Facebook at EzellsFamousChicken or on Twitter @Ezells_Chicken.