- May 18, 2023
Glenn and Jennifer Pilson will open a new location of the counter-service franchise Chicken Salad Chick this fall in Westside Shoppes in Horizon West.
Chicken Salad Chick is a Southern-style restaurant that started in Auburn, Alabama, when Stacy Brown, a stay-at-home-mom started making chicken salad in her own kitchen at home and selling it door to door. Once the health department caught on, she decided she didn’t want to stop and opened her own business.
Today, Chicken Salad Chick has more than 100 locations. The menu features a large variety of chicken salad dishes with a home-y atmosphere and healthy options.
“Eighty-three percent of our clientele are women and 17% consists of men, so it’s more of mom/soccer-mom style,” Glenn Pilson said. “(The style is) very clean, like you’re at your grandmother’s house.”
Before Chicken Salad Chick, Jennifer and Glenn Pilson owned a handful of Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchise locations in Florida with Jennifer’s parents. Then, when Jennifer’s parents retired, the Pilsons decided they wanted a change of pace. They sold the Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurants and three months ago opened their first Chicken Salad Chick.
The two were drawn to the franchise for a number of reasons, among them being the clean and quick operations and the uniqueness of the restaurant.
“No other concept down here has 12 different kinds of chicken salad and then a chicken salad every month to make it 13,” Glenn said.
Although both restaurants prepare all of their food fresh, at Chicken Salad Chick, there’s no grease to clean, shorter ticket times and no late nights. Furthermore, the restaurant is closed on Sundays, a nice change of pace for the Pilsons.
“Most people just have this negative connotation of well, mayonnaise is bad for you,” Glenn said. “Well, it’s only a smidgen of mayonnaise. We only use one jar for a big huge portion, so you only get a little bit of mayonnaise in every bite.”
Their current location is at 11587 Regency Village Drive, close to SeaWorld, which has been up and running for three months. The area is newly developed and businesses are still opening.
“It’s a unique concept; we’re enjoying it so far,” Glenn said. “Every business has its ups and downs. … Our struggle with Chicken Salad Chick right now is getting people to know what Chicken Salad Chick is.”
Although the restaurant is geared with a more Southern, feminine touch, Glenn said there really is an option for everyone. The menu has keto- and vegan- friendly items, not to mention enough flavors of chicken salad to satisfy the most particular eaters.
Glenn said he has customers come in several times a week just to try different chicken salad flavors.
“Its a wide-variety menu and if we can just get Chicken Salad Chick’s name out there…” Glenn said. “I think we would be one of the top restaurants in the Orlando area.”