Churchs chicken
The chain begins a 10-year, $40 million expansion with a new franchisee. 

ATLANTA – Volunteer Chicken LLC, a new franchisee in the Church’s Chicken system, recently secured the rights to develop 10 new restaurants with financial backing from American Development Partners, a full service development, general contractor, architectural and private equity firm.

Under the terms of the agreement, Volunteer Chicken will develop multiple restaurants in new markets for Church’s Chicken that includes Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Another 10-restaurant deal is expected to follow in 2021.

Larry Lavigne, a principal partner of Volunteer Chicken, currently is a franchise owner of 25 Jett’s Pizza restaurants, most of which are located in Tennessee. He also is involved with Tropical Smoothie Café restaurants in the state. Lavigne’s partner, Nirav Patel, owns and operates several high-volume establishments in New Jersey and New York and has previous experience with The Melting Pot, Tilted Kilt and World of Beer restaurants.

Lavigne, Patel and their financing partner ADP plan to open the first Church’s restaurants in the fall of 2017. The remaining restaurants will be developed over the next five years. In 2021, the group plans to develop an additional 10 Church’s restaurants over the following five years.

“From its earliest days, Church’s has always been about smart business and building a superior brand,” said Bill Schreiber, vice president of Global Business Development at Church’s Chicken/Texas Chicken. “Restaurant developers like Volunteer Chicken and ADP are perfect examples of how our industry position provides leverage and opportunity to established franchise groups and newcomers alike.”