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This National Fried Chicken Chain Is Getting a Major Brand Refresh

Known decades for their crispy batter and potato wedges, they're leveraging the current fried chicken craze.

Just in the past couple years, it seems like fast-food chicken chains have hatched in record numbers across the country (like this California brand that's about to go national). All this has spurred one classic fried chicken chain with 1,200 locations in 48 states—often found in truck stops and convenience stores—to recognize that after decades under the radar, it's time to make themselves better known.

Chester's Chicken was founded in the 1960s in Birmingham, Alabama. In the 1980s, the quick-service brand moved in to some private-owned restaurants around the country, and then spread into some supermarket chains for customers to grab a quick, ready-to-eat meal. These days, Chester's is frequently found with storefronts in interstate rest areas and travel center locations, such as Love's Travel Stops.

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Recently, a rep for Chester's told Eat This, Not That! that the brand has gained a fan base ranging from truck drivers and families to James Beard Award-winning chef and Travel Channel TV host, Andrew Zimmern.

Chester's says their strength lies in an old family recipe that includes marinating the chicken in a special formula, then double-breading it before it drops in the frier.

QSR reports that while Chester's executives recognized they have a standout product among the current marketplace, the brand hadn't gotten a makeover since the early 2000s. As Restaurant News reported earlier this month, the Chester's Chicken re-do would be "designed to create a better connection between the customer and Chester's famous fried chicken, prepared fresh in store throughout the day."

Chester's Chicken launched a re-imaging initiative shortly before the pandemic, but, of course, full execution was put on pause.

Today, however, the Chester's brand refresh officially has takeoff. They've launched a new website, an updated logo, and new branded packaging, all with eye-catching blue and red accents in contrast to their more monochrome yellow palette of years past. They've also redone their menu board design and are redesigning their in-store layout and look.

QSR reports that as of this month, the new Chester's Chicken look is already in effect in a small number of locations, such as a Love's Travel Stop in Durant, Oklahoma; as well as newly opened Chester's stores in Monroe, Louisiana, and Elk Grove Village, Illinois.

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If you're hitting the road come Labor Day, you might give this classic fried chicken chain a second look.

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Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at <em>Eat This, Not That!</em>, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more