Texas chicken chain looks to roost in Central Florida

Cowboy Chicken plans to open 4 franchises near Orlando

Promotional photo from Cowboy Chicken (Cowboy Chicken)

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – A chicken-focused fast-casual chain from the heart of the Lone Star State is looking to expand into Central Florida, starting with a location in Kissimmee.

Cowboy Chicken, founded in Dallas in 1981 according to its website, is partnering with franchisee Florida Fine Foods to bring at least four locations to Central Florida.

According to a news release, the first franchise will set up shop at 3290 Margaritaville Blvd., just off of U.S. Highway 192 and about 4 miles from Walt Disney World. Each location, the release said, will be between 2,500-3,000 square feet, with a capacity of 70 to 100 guests and about 30 employees.

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Florida Fine Foods is run by Jenny and Paul Bellanca, the company said, who had previously run several Krispy Kreme franchises in Central Florida but sold those businesses in 2020.

The first Cowboy Chicken location in Kissimmee is expected to open in 2022, according to the release.

Cowboy Chicken differs from the other chicken-focused chains coming into Central Florida — such as Chicken Guy, Jollibee, bb.q Chicken and Bojangles — in that it serves wood-fired rotisserie chicken rather than fried chicken.

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The Kissimmee location will be the first Florida franchise for Cowboy Chicken, which currently has 17 locations mostly in the Dallas-Forth Worth area, according to the company’s website.

Those looking to open a Cowboy Chicken franchise need to have five or more years as a restaurant operator, a minimum of $600,000 in liquid assets, a minimum net worth of $1.2 million and real estate experience in the market to be developed, according to the franchising section of the website.

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About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.