Dave’s Hot Chicken franchise coming to Milwaukee

Targeting 15 to 20 locations

Courtesy of Dave's Hot Chicken

Los Angeles-based fast-casual chain Dave’s Hot Chicken is tapping the Milwaukee market as part of a larger Midwest expansion. 

The chain is currently seeking multi-unit franchisees to open a target of 15 to 20 locations across the Milwaukee area.

“At this time, are actively having conversations with several qualified groups, while continuing to vet additional individuals and potential sites,” said Shannon Swenson, vice president of franchise development, in an email. 

Dave’s specializes in Nashville-style hot chicken, including tenders and sliders. What started as a parking lot pop-up in 2017 has grown into a fast-casual brand, with more than 240 units committed within one year of franchising. The company currently has 10 locations in California and Canada — an additional 30 are expected to open “coast-to-coast” in 2021, according to a news release. 

In selecting key expansion markets, the company said it was drawn to Milwaukee’s local consumer base, real estate opportunities and strong business community. Once a deal is signed, the opening timeline is about 12 to 18 months.

“Now is the perfect time to bring Dave’s Hot Chicken to Milwaukee,” said Swenson. “Our existing fans and followers have shown incredible dedication to the Dave’s Hot Chicken family, and we look forward to sharing that experience with the Milwaukee community.”

Dave’s Hot Chicken is focused on several key Midwest markets, in addition to Milwaukee. Franchise agreements have been signed in Chicago; Flint and Saginaw, Michigan; Toledo, Dayton, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; and Indianapolis, Indiana. It’s also targeting Minneapolis. 

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Maredithe Meyer
Maredithe Meyer covers restaurants, retail, tourism, and sports and entertainment. She joined BizTimes in 2015, previously as an intern reporter. She earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University in 2017. When she's not on the job, Maredithe coaches field hockey and loves exploring her favorite city on earth, Milwaukee.

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