Talking Chicken Salad with Stacy Brown
1. Tell us about Chicken Salad Chick
Chicken Salad Chick puts an edgy twist on a Southern classic, offering guests a “custom-fit” chicken salad experience with 15 original flavors to choose from, as well as gourmet soups, flavorful side salads and freshly-baked desserts. All of our chicken salads and side salads are made in-house daily, offering guests a healthy and fresh dining option in an environment where they feel at home.
2. Can you tell us more about your chicken salad?
Our chicken salad is made with all white-meat shredded chicken, finely minced celery, barely enough mayonnaise to mention and our secret seasoning. Some guests are convinced that we put something else in it to keep them coming back for more, because it’s certainly addicting!
I created our original recipe, the Classic Carol, in my kitchen, and knew it was “the one” by the look on my friends’ faces at first bite. Then I thought about it and realized, no two people like the same chicken salad, so why not create one for every palate? That's when I began adding different ingredients to the Classic Carol to create the 14 other varieties. Each flavor is named after a “chick” that is special to us, and they love that they are now local celebrities in each market!
Since most Southerners grow up eating chicken salad, our guests usually associate a certain flavor with a particular person or memory that’s special to them.
3. Are your chicken salads gluten free?
Yes! All of our chicken salads, plus several other menu items, are gluten free.
4. Can you tell us about a few of your favorite chicks?
Although our best seller is still the Classic Carol, other favorites include the Fancy Nancy with apples, grapes and pecans, and the Sassy Scotty with bacon, ranch and cheddar cheese. Our Kickin’ Kay Lynne is a powerhouse of flavor, combining Buffalo sauce, ranch dressing, bacon, cheddar cheese and jalapenos all in one! The Olivia’s Old South is our most traditional flavor with sweet pickles and egg, and those looking for a challenge love the Jazzy Julie with cayenne pepper, bacon and cheddar cheese!
5. Do a lot of people order to-go?
Yes, a large portion of our business is to-go orders - we have pounds of chicken salad ready to grab and go that guests take to the beach, parties or just dinner on the go.
6. Do you have regional or seasonal offerings?
We don’t vary our chicken salad based on region. You can get the same delicious flavors no matter where you dine with us!
We do have special, time limited versions of our salads. For example we are very excited to introduce our Summer Featured Plate through the end of August . This special will include our Summer Salad, a refreshing lettuce-based salad with the season’s freshest fruits, as well as a scoop of your favorite Chick and our delicious Key Lime Bar.
We are also offering a 16th flavor for the summer, the Dill-icious Diva, which features crisp, cool cucumbers and summery dill. It’s the winner of our recent Pick A New Chick contest and will be served through August.
7. Besides chicken salad, what else do you offer?
We also offer homemade pimento cheese, fresh side salads, gourmet soups and even deli sandwiches for the guests who have been dragged in by a chicken salad lover. Our pimento cheese is delicious and is also sold by the pound, or as a cheeseball coated in crushed pecans and crispy bacon. It’s perfect as an appetizer or fun treat for parties and gatherings.
Some guests also come in just for our side salads! The Grape Salad and Broccoli Salad are particularly popular.
8. Who's the audience for Chicken Salad Chick?
Our audience consists of chicken salad lovers, or anyone looking for a healthy and fresh dining alternative. Our guests range from age 1-100, and often come in for a delicious meal with friends or family.
We are a fast-casual restaurant, meaning that guests order at a counter and our team quickly brings your meal to your table. Guests are able to enjoy a quality, fresh meal without the hassle of long wait times.
The ambiance is a combination of classic tradition with contemporary accents. Our decor is full of cool refreshing colors contrasting with striking, black and white photos of local landmarks. The space is full of warm designer fabrics that beg the guests to sit a while and enjoy the chicken salad as well as their dining experience. This is a place you will want to meet someone you really like, because you won't be in a hurry to leave.
9. Do a lot of men like chicken salad?
We have plenty of men that dine with us. The fact of the matter is men like good food regardless of whether you put a dress on it or not. It takes them a little while to come in the door the first time, but after they taste it they return without hesitation.
10. Do you offer catering?
Absolutely! Each location offers a full catering menu for occasions of any kind. Various party platters are available for larger parties, or we can also customize box lunches for office lunches and small gatherings.
11. How did Chicken Salad Chick get started?
The Chicken Salad Chick concept was actually started out of necessity back in 2008. I was recently divorced and needed to provide for my three children, so I began to make and sell chicken salad from my home. I quickly learned that selling a homemade recipe from my kitchen is against the law, and after being shut down by the health department I solicited the business expertise of my future husband, Kevin. Together, we opened a small takeout restaurant in Auburn, and completely sold out on our first few days. We began franchising a few years later, and have continued to grow since then based solely on demand. We now have 35 locations open across six states, and have plans to expand nationally in the coming years.
12. Can you tell us about your plans for Jacksonville?
Right now, we plan to open six locations in the Jacksonville area. Our first location will be in the Reedy Branch Commons at 10920 Baymeadows Road. We have not determined specific locations for the other restaurants yet.
13. Can you tell us about the franchisees for Jacksonville?
The local franchisees are Richard Meadows and Becky Roland. Richard and Becky were the very first franchisees for Chicken Salad Chick. They’ve been with us since 2012. Their son, David Roland, works with them now as Director of Operations, so it’s a real family affair. You can read their story on our website.
14. Anything else you'd like to add?
We are thrilled to open in Jacksonville market and become a part of the great communities there. Our chicken salad is perfect for an easy and delicious meal in our restaurant or at the beach!