The latest trend in fast-food growth has to do with location. Myers is now the chief development officer for Church’s Chicken. He said one of the keys to growing the Church’s brand is making Church’s available to consumers in nontraditional locations. Of the 58 Church’s in Atlanta, nine are in convenience stores (or c-stores), where customers come inside after filling up their cars with gas.
“The original fear was that people would associate your restaurant with the sort of dirty job of filling up the gas tank or changing the oil,” Myers said. “But when you walk into a Church’s in one of these locations, there is always a clean separation of the restaurant from the area of your car. We have 145 c-store locations around the country.”
In addition to adding more convenience store locations, in the next three to five years Church’s hopes to become the Big Chicken on Campus. Church’s has stores near many schools but not on any campuses. In hopes of enticing universities and private contractors to carry the Church’s brand, the company has developed “Church’s On the Fly,” a portable product.
“There is so much competition for real estate these days,” Shumacher said. “If I’m an owner of a small Dunkin’ Donuts and I can either spend $300,000 on a location for a stand-alone store or spend $300,000 on my store and co-brand with Baskin-Robbins and Togo and move into a million-dollar location, all of a sudden co-branding makes all the sense in the world.”