qsr construction

Quick-Service Restaurant Construction Is Hot . . . For Chicken

“What are we going to eat tonight?”  

That question has been answered by quick-service restaurants (QSRs) for decades. Commonly referred to as fast-food chains, quick-service restaurants have limited menus with food that is cooked in advance and kept hot, providing fast meals for busy customers. Quick-service restaurants are usually part of a chain or franchise operation that provides standardized ingredients and/or partially prepared foods and supplies to each restaurant through controlled supply channels. 

Most historians agree that the American company White Castle was the first fast-food outlet, starting in Wichita, Kansas in 1916 with food stands and ultimately selling hamburgers for five cents apiece, thus spawning numerous competitors and emulators. 

Throughout the 20th century, quick-service restaurants exploded across the U.S. Large corporations and franchises were established as well. Today, fast-food restaurants are available almost everywhere across the globe. Total earnings for this type of restaurant reached a staggering $278.6 billion in 2021 within the U.S.  

But all these restaurants have to be built before food can be served. Using PlannedRetail data from BuildCentral, let’s take a look at quick-service restaurant construction for three household (or soon-to-be) names: Chick-Fil-A, Dave’s Hot Chicken, and Raising Cane’s 

Chick-Fil-A Serves Up Great Construction Projects  

Chick-Fil-A, an American fast food restaurant chain that’s the country’s largest specializing in chicken sandwiches, operates 2,898 restaurants across 48 states as well as in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Founded in Atlanta in 1967, Chick-Fil-A is the go-to spot for chicken sandwiches, signature waffle fries, and creamy milkshakes.  

Here are some of Chick-Fil-A’s construction projects:  

  • Owensboro, KY, will host a new Chick-Fil-A location set to open in the middle of 2023. There will be the standard double-lane drive-thru and roughly 50 parking spaces. This will be Owensboro’s second Chick-Fil-A.  
  • A new restaurant will open in early 2023 in Clifton Park, NY. The vacant Pier 1 Imports building will be demolished and replaced with the 5,000-square foot restaurant and drive-thru.  
  • Flint Township, MI, is the site for another new location that’s scheduled to open in the fall of 2023. The restaurant will be built at the old Sonic at 3140 Miller Road. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2023. 

According to a study by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Chick-Fil-A leads quick-service restaurants as America’s favorite. Between the excellent service and delicious food, it’s no wonder people love the chain. With demand so high, many more locations are sure to be constructed in the future.  

Dave’s Hot Chicken: Seasoning, Battering, and Frying Projects 

Sticking with chicken, Dave’s Hot Chicken is an American quick-service restaurant chain specializing in Nashville-style hot chicken. Founded in Los Angeles with a single restaurant in 2017, the chain has expanded to over 100 locations in 4 countries in 2022 and has been named “America’s fastest-growing restaurant.”  

Let’s look at some construction projects the chicken hub is working on:  

  • Monrovia, CA, is getting a new Dave’s Hot Chicken location in late 2023. An architect has been selected, and construction is expected to begin in July of 2023.  
  • Another restaurant is set to be built in Tysons, VA, and opened in late 2023. This location will occupy 2,445 square feet of space on the northern end of a strip mall. Virginia’s first Dave’s Hot Chicken restaurant, this location is sure to attract a steady stream of customers.  
  • The Philadelphia region is planning to nest 8 new locations in 2023 and 2024. Locations include Springfield Township, Bucks, Chester, and Montgomery counties. According to this article, franchisees Jiger Patel and Pranav Desai are confident they will have leases signed for several locations by the end of the year.  

Called what might just be “one of the fastest-growing franchises in restaurant history” by QSR magazine, Dave’s Hot Chicken’s construction projects are almost certain to continue sizzling well into the future. 620 units are in development, and 85 restaurants are expected to debut globally in 2023.  

QSR magazine also reports, “The company believes there’s room for 1,000–1,200 stores domestically and another 800 to 1,000 internationally.” Two things are for sure: there won’t be a shortage of construction projects or hot chicken any time soon.  

Raising Cane’s: Raising Restaurants Left and Right 

Raising Cane’s, an American fast-food chain specializing in chicken fingers founded in 1996 in Baton Rouge, LA, rounds out our list of quick-service restaurants driving construction projects.  

Here are some of their projects:  

  • Johnston, IA, will host a new Raising Cane’s. Construction will begin in March 2023 and will likely be completed by October 2023. The Johnston location will be the third Raising Cane’s restaurant in central Iowa, joining locations in West Des Moines and Altoona. 
  • Another restaurant will be built in Seven Hills, OH. Construction is set to begin in January with a June or July 2023 opening date.  
  • Raising Cane’s website states, “We’re planning to keep this party going right into 2023, with more than 100 additional locations opening in the next year, everywhere from Albuquerque to New York and Baltimore.”  

Plenty of construction projects will be created from the chain’s never-ending expansion. Which means there won’t be a shortage of delicious chicken fingers in most parts of the country.  

Key Takeaways 

Quick-service restaurants continue to grow in popularity. With so much demand, franchises will be building like crazy for the foreseeable future.  

Chick-Fil-A, Dave’s Hot Chicken, and Raising Cane’s are the kings of fast-food chicken. All three have numerous sites under construction now and many more that haven’t been announced yet. But you’ll have to find these projects.  

That’s where we come in.  

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