How Chicken Xpress Kept It Fresh with A Fuss-Free Approach To Fast...

How Chicken Xpress Kept It Fresh with A Fuss-Free Approach To Fast Food


Vital stats

  • Player: Devon Scoulelis
  • Franchise: Chicken Xpress
  • Established: 2011
  • Visit:

Can you give us a brief history of Chicken Xpress?

Chicken Xpress is a proudly South African brand, and the first store was opened in Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal in 2011. We started the brand because we wanted to try and accomplish two things. Firstly, we wanted to provide consumers with a fresh approach to fried chicken — to expand on local flavours and influences.

Secondly, we wanted to offer prospective business owners a well-priced business opportunity that would make the ownership of a fast food franchise accessible to a larger segment of the South African population. We wanted to offer a franchise at a lower price point, while still making sure that Chicken Xpress stays a professional and aspirational brand.

Related: Chicken Xpress On Plucking Up The Courage To Franchise

How has Chicken Xpress grown and evolved since its creation?


We’ve enjoyed a lot of positive feedback from both consumers and franchisees, and the brand has grown nicely since inception.

We now have around 20 stores in several provinces. We also have stores in Botswana, and we’d like to expand into other parts of Africa in the near future.

We have an aggressive growth strategy that’ll hopefully see our number of stores shoot into the hundreds in the next five years. That said, Chicken Xpress is spreading across the country through a well implemented and sustainable store roll-out programme. The Chicken Xpress brand is truly South African and has its values firmly based around local communities.

All stores will be conveniently located in high volume emerging market trading areas, on busy nodal transport interchanges and/or in busy shopping centres.

Strict criteria are applied in evaluating target store locations, including the presence of key national anchor tenants and major national retail groups.

What makes Chicken Xpress unique? How is it different from other similar franchises?

It is a no frills, no fuss, keeping-it-simple African franchise. At Chicken Xpress, while we have tremendous respect for international brands that have had global success, our aim is to build a truly African brand — something by Africans for Africans. There is a strong entrepreneurial spirit that runs through our brand and we have the utmost respect for entrepreneurs, both those who are starting out, and the well-established.

Our business model is easily accessible, even for those who are new to entrepreneurship. Compared to many similar franchises, a Chicken Xpress franchise is quite affordable and boasts relatively low barriers to entry. We are looking for new and enthusiastic entrepreneurs who want to grow alongside the brand.

We believe that awesome brands are built by ordinary people who are passionate about delivering the extraordinary. We want hands-on franchisees who love the brand and live to serve. Ultimately, we want to be one of the most-loved brands in South Africa.

Related: Chicken Xpress Franchise Opportunity

What makes a Chicken Xpress franchise a solid investment?


It is one of the few fast-food franchises that is open and accessible to emerging entrepreneurs. We also have a proven track record, as well as low investment costs, and excellent returns for franchisees. Chicken Xpress head office has a strong passion to grow franchisees across the country.

Franchising has proven itself an excellent system in assisting the nation to decrease its unemployment rate, and grow its people through a sustainable and proven model.

Can you give us some idea of the fees involved in setting up a Chicken Xpress franchise?

The base cost of a franchise is R895 000, and for that you get a full turn-key store, from set-up to store opening. There is an initial joining fee of R85 000 that has to be paid on-site, and franchise approval.

Once head office has approved the site and received the initial joining fee, we will then do a full store costing. This final costing will then be presented to the franchisee, and full payment of the balance is then due. One month later, we will be able to open your new Chicken Xpress store.

What does this price include?

The total cost makes provision for store design, staff training and launch promotions, which encapsulates virtually everything that a new franchisee needs.

Store design includes things like drawings and layouts, as well as full management of the build process. So, we help with shop-fitting, equipment and signage. Then we also provide a lot of on-site training and support ahead of the opening.

We do things like help train staff and provide them with uniforms, and create marketing material for the grand opening.

Related: Chicken Xpress – The ‘No Frills, No-Fuss, Keeping-It-Simple Franchise’

Can you tell us more about the training involved?


Franchisees and staff will be required to attend an intensive one-week training programme held at a designated Chicken Xpress store. Approximately six employees will be required per store, depending on trading hours.

All elements involved in running a Chicken Xpress store, including operations, stock control, marketing, management and staffing will be covered.

Once your store is up and running, head office will send experienced trainers to help you during the first three days of operation. As a franchisee, we want you to be in business for yourself, but not by yourself. So, the help and support doesn’t end there.

As the franchisors, we’ll always be there to assist our franchisees. We want to grow Chicken Xpress across the continent, and this means ensuring that our franchisees are successful.

Can you describe your ideal franchisee? What are the skills and traits you look for?

An ideal Chicken Xpress franchisee displays strong leadership and interpersonal skills, and is able to make positive decisions for his or her business. An ideal franchisee remains resilient and has a strong ability to motivate team members.

We want franchisees who are passionate about the brand and the long-term strategy we have at Chicken Xpress. We also want them to be hands-on, which will allow them to really get to know the business.

We ultimately want as many franchisees as possible to own multiple units through successful stores, and grow with the Chicken Xpress family for many years to come.

Related: Xpress Operation On A Roll

Can you tell us about the three Ps of Chicken Xpress?

Firstly, we believe in people. We look to grow Chicken Xpress people across each and every Chicken Xpress community. This includes franchisees, staff, suppliers and customers across the country. We have numerous community projects in operation that look to back each local Chicken Xpress community.

Secondly, we focus on product. While safeguarding our core offering of truly delicious products, we also want to grow our menu and cater to more tastes. Lastly, we care about the planet. Chicken Xpress believes that it has a responsibility to the planet, and wants to assist local communities in growing awareness of recycling and the preservation of resources.

Many businesses strive for profit, and profit is certainly important, but we believe that if you look after your people, your product and the planet, profit will follow.

What does a franchise cost?

Initial fee: R85 000
Base cost: R850 000

royalty fee:

5% of



marketing fee:

1,5% of


Recommended staff: 6 employees

store size:

Other costs: Rent deposit payable to landlord
For more information:



Call: +27 (0)31 263 0045

GG van Rooyen
GG van Rooyen is the deputy editor for Entrepreneur Magazine South Africa. Follow him on Twitter.