Chick N Max — a fast-casual, next-gen franchise specializing in almondwood-smoked chicken and wings, homemade sandwiches and golden-fried tenderloins — is heading to Texas, thanks to a multi-unit deal to develop three restaurants in Houston.
The restaurants will be owned and operated by Aaron Johnson, a nearly 30-year veteran of the franchise industry with brands including Bennigan’s, Smashburger and MOD Pizza. With leases yet to be signed, Johnson is looking to Houston’s North Side — including Willis, The Woodlands and Cypress — for potential sites. He expects his first restaurant to be open and operational by the end of 2022.
“The signing of this agreement represents another important step in the growth of Chick N Max as we continue to drive our expansion efforts in the central and southeastern United States,” said Max Sheets, founder of Chick N Max. “With our innovative vision for chicken and an enthusiastic franchise partner like Aaron Johnson, we are perfectly positioned to meet the demands for healthier alternatives to burgers and look to the future with great enthusiasm.
Johnson’s long history in restaurant operations began in 1993 at Bennigan’s, where he served as regional manager for more than 15 years. In 2008, Johnson joined Smashburger as District Manager and was eventually promoted to Regional Operations Manager. During his tenure at Smashburger, the franchise grew from six to over 300 units nationwide. For the five-and-a-half years leading up to signing his development deal with Chick N Max, Johnson held several operational roles at MOD Pizza, including Regional Vice President, and helped grow the brand from 195 to 530 restaurants nationwide.
“When I decided to transition from the side of the business to becoming a franchisee, I started researching several brands in the chicken sandwich business and knew I wanted to partner with the one that I thought , had the strongest flavor profile. After my first bite of a Chick N Max sandwich while visiting Wichita, I was sold,” says Johnson. “I am particularly excited to join Max Sheets and his dynamic management team. Having the opportunity to grow the brand in Houston, which I call home, makes me very proud.
Founded in 2017 and franchised since 2021, Chick N Max offers a unique culinary experience with its 10 unique flavors of chef’s sandwiches, from almond wood smoked pulled chicken to tender crispy golden fries. Examples include the Maple Bacon Sandwich, made with pulled smoked chicken, chopped bacon, a drizzle of maple syrup, cheddar cheese, and mayonnaise on a potato bun; or the sweet and spicy sandwich, which features lightly breaded and crispy chicken tenders, fried jalapeño strips, cucumber, tomato, and sweet and spicy sauce on a brioche bun.
Additionally, Chick N Max serves its Almondwood Smoked Chicken in wings, thigh quarters, breast quarters and half chicken.
Customers can complete their meal with a range of 10 homemade sides, including fries, onion rings, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and smoked white beans, as well as 11 sauces prepared daily to guarantee the best quality and the best taste.
“Chick N Max’s made-from-scratch menu has something for everyone, with options for those looking to please customers looking for a healthier take on traditional, casual chicken offerings,” says Johnson.
The signing of the regional development agreement with Johnson comes at a time when Chick N Max is looking to expand into various parts of the central and southeastern United States. With three company-owned restaurants already serving a host of customers across Wichita, Chick N Max intends to double its footprint by the end of next year and open up to five new ones. restaurants each year thereafter.
Year-to-date, Chick N Max has also signed a three-unit contract in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, as well as a regional development agreement for 25 locations in various parts of Kansas.
The news and information presented in this press release have not been corroborated by RSQFood News Media or Journalistic, Inc.