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    Parker's Partners with Chester's

    Convenience-store chain will open eight locations over the next two months.

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Parker's Convenience Stores has signed a multi-unit franchise agreement with Chester's International, a leading fried chicken foodservice offering in the convenience store category. The deal calls for eight Chester;s locations to be open within Parker;s stores in the Greater Savannah area over the next two months.

    After operating a proprietary fried chicken program for the past 25 years, Parker's decided to transition its foodservice to Chester's branded fried chicken concept. The flexible design of the Chester's program allowed the Parker's locations to be retro-fitted with minimal build-out of the existing footprints, the company said.

    "Chester's has a profound commitment to doing fried chicken better than anyone," said Greg Parker, Parker's president/CEO. "The proven methodology of the Chester's program and delicious final product allow us to offer our customers a consistent and quality foodservice option for all three dayparts including take-out."

    The multi-unit agreement with Parker's signals progress in Chester's aggressive growth strategy to further expand its franchise program in travel plazas and c-stores across the U.S. and Caribbean regions. Chester's currently operates more than 1,200 locations.

    "As two leaders in the convenience store industry, our partnership with Parker's makes great business sense," said Ted Giles, CEO of Chester's International. "Our high-quality fried chicken program is a perfect fit in Parker's premium locations and we're looking forward to growing into more locations together."

    In other Chester's news, the company is undertaking a systemwide transition to 100-percent trans fat free operations, expected to be complete by the end of 2007.

    "This is an effort we embarked on more than a year ago, but until manufacturers began offering alternative oil products with national distribution, we had limited availability for our more than 1,200 locations across the country," Giles said. "Now that the issue has received national attention, manufacturers have begun offering these alternative products nationwide and we were able to make the switch."

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