The fried chicken-and-biscuit chain Bojangles’ is going public.
The chain, which filed for an initial public offering on Monday, is the latest in a string of hot restaurant IPOs over the last year, including Shake Shack, El Pollo Loco, The Habit Restaurants and Zoe’s Kitchen.
Bojangles’ is known for its crispy fried chicken and all-day breakfast featuring freshly baked buttered biscuits.
It has 622 restaurants in 10 states and plans to expand its locations by 8% annually going forward, according to its IPO filing.
Bojangles’ sales have grown to $US430 million in 2014 from $US349 million in 2012.
Here’s why people are so obsessed with the chain.
1. The all-day breakfast
Bojangles’ is a breakfast destination where the main attraction is warm, buttery biscuits that are made from scratch daily with fresh buttermilk by specially trained cooks. The biscuits are baked every 20 minutes so they are always served to customers fresh from the oven.
The biscuits are served with breakfast meats, such as sausage, dry-cured country ham, and eggs, or drenched in gravy.
2. The fried chicken
Bojangles’ bone-in fried chicken is hand-breaded and marinated for at least 12 hours. The meat is fresh and never frozen.
“We prepare our food the old-fashioned way, and never in a microwave,” the company says. “Our restaurant kitchens are specifically designed for our employees to prepare our food in a traditional manner.”
3. The Fixin’s
Bojangles’ has a large selection of Southern-inspired sides, including cole slaw, “picnic grits,” cajun-flavored pinto beans, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, and “Bo-Tato Rounds” (mini hash browns fried to a golden brown with a hint of onion).
The chain touts the fact that many of the Fixins are made stove-top, as opposed to relying on a microwave.
4. The Bo-Berry Biscuit
This blueberry biscuit is covered in sweet icing and served warm, making it hard to resist. Other desserts include the icing-topped Cinnamon Pecan Twists and Sweet Potatoe Pie, which has sweet potato filling inside a pastry shell.
5. The Legendary Sweet Tea
Bojangles’ sweet tea, a beverage staple in the South, is unbeatable.
The tea “is steeped the old-fashioned way and is never made from concentrates or poured from bottles or cans,” Bojangles’ says in its filing.
6. The Cajun filet biscuit
This menu item combines two customer favourites — the Cajun fried chicken and biscuits — and turns them into a sandwich.
“Forget KFC and even Popeye’s. Bojangles’ fried chicken tops them all,” writes one Yelp reviewer. “How can you beat a perfectly breaded and fried cajun filet biscuit? Answer: You can’t!”
Another reviewer writes, “It is the absolute best chain Southern fried chicken” that is “consistently crispy, perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of their proprietary Cajun seasoning, with just a touch of heat … and the meat [is] juicy, moist, and flavorful to the bone.”
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