New Orleans-style fried chicken is coming to Lithonia this summer at the new Bojangles’ Panola Road location.
“Everything is pretty much on schedule considering rain and some other small setbacks. We are excited to come to DeKalb and look to hire about 80 people for crew staff and also seven managers,” said franchisee Leigh Hull. “We understand that we’re nothing without great people so we will be looking for great people to join our team who are friendly, enthusiastic and will enjoy preparing and serving great food.”
Located at 2695 Panola Road, Lithonia, the 3,800-square-foot store is slated to open by the beginning of July and will be serving what Hull and Bojangles’ call the core menu: flavorful chicken made with a special blend of seasonings, hot, fresh buttermilk biscuits and “one-of-a-kind fixin’s” such as Bojangles’ Dirty Rice® and Bojangles’ Cajun Pintos®.
“When you walk into our store, you can expect hot food in a clean environment and a staff of people who will deliver outstanding service and work to build a pleasing environment for customers,” said Hull.
RealtyLink Development Properties is building the store which will feature a full dining area, as well as a large kitchen for staff to work in an open environment and an interior design which features a New Orleans-style festive restaurant.
“Bojangles’ strives to provide our guests with a perfectly satisfying dining experience. We are here for our present and future customers to listen to their concerns and provide them with a quality product,” said Bojangles’ Executive Vice President Eric Newman. “The entire Bojangles’ organization is committed to ensuring that our guests always get the best-tasting, highest-quality products possible, served quickly by friendly people in a clean and pleasant environment.”
Bojangles began in 1977 as just a mere dream of operators Jack Fulk and Richard Thomas and was based on three attributes that Hull says still ring true today: a distinctive flavor profile, wholesome high-quality products made from scratch and a fun restaurant with fast, friendly service. Since its conception, the franchise has grown to more than 500 stores.
Hull, who lives in California but is looking for a home in the Atlanta area, says Atlanta has a new market for the Bojangles’ business and its menu.
“Bojangles’ got its start in the Carolinas but recent numbers show that there is a high demand for that flavor in Atlanta and I am honored to be a part of a group of people who will bring that flavor to the people of DeKalb County and metro Atlanta,” said Hull, who has also operated McDonald’s and Denny’s restaurants all over the country and even in Hawaii. “I fell in love with Atlanta when I would come visit my daughter who was attending Spelman College. I love Atlanta. I think this is a great market and I’ll be visiting frequently as I continue to look in the area for a home.”
Bojangles’ Executive Vice President Newman says the company plans to open 18 new restaurants throughout the state of Georgia this year.
“Currently, Bojangles’ has 34 open locations in the Atlanta region and 54 locations throughout Georgia,” said Newman. “The company’s development in Atlanta (and Georgia) is part of the almost 600-unit brand’s overall growth strategy to open 55 locations throughout its 10-state regional footprint in 2014.”
DeKalb County Super District 7 Commissioner Stan Watson said he wasn’t aware of the Panola Road store, but noticed their work in the area and supports it.
“It’s a good thing what Bojangles’ is trying to do for that immediate area. It looks like they’re doing more than just building a restaurant over there,” said Watson. “The restaurant’s success could mean additional Bojangles in DeKalb and/or additional development in that area from other franchises.
Hull says that’s exactly the reaction he was looking for. He says the store will not just be a business in the community, but a partner in the community as well. He is looking to beautify the area as much as he can.
“I’ve put together an aggressive landscape plan for the area. We really want to beautify that corner with flowerbeds and other landscaping features,” said Hull. “We don’t just want to sell beans and leave. We want to add to the community.”