Immediately, Super Chix found itself in great company by being compared to the largest U.S.-based chicken chain. The fact that Super Chix was quietly owned, at the time, by fast-food giant Yum Brands, Inc., which operates Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell, made it all the more interesting.
But Super Chix has since been purchased by local guy Ouimet and is just a small shop trying to gain a foothold in the "better chicken" business, if you ask its owner. And hey, if it ends up competing with Chick-fil-A, great. Super Chix is still way too small to know where it fits with industry giants anyhow. Ouimet operates with a management team of just four people.
The next Super Chix, totaling two, opens Aug. 25 as part of Richardson's $1.5 billion CityLine development. It, like the existing Super Chix restaurant, adheres to a keep-it-simple menu: chicken, fries and custard.
Back when Super Chix was a Yum company, it was described by a spokesperson as "a one-off" and "purely exploratory" in a 2014 Dallas Morning News business story. Nothing to see here? No way: Lines were out the door. And yet, Ouimet chose to close that Arlington store in April after opening another at Preston and Belt Line roads in Far North Dallas.
"Being so early in the process, we can't miss on location," Ouimet said in an interview in February.
While Super Chix plans to continue to expand in Dallas-Fort Worth, the scope is to open several in the United Arab Emirates.
Say what? Yes, this small company wants to work with a "large multinational franchisor" in the Middle East.
"The days of waiting until you have a huge presence in the United States before you move are over," Ouimet says via email.
The company seems caught between two worlds: being delightfully obsessed with making good chicken sandwiches for its two smallish stores, and dreaming of expanding across the world, literally, with those sandwiches.
Ouimet is a small restaurateur; he doesn't sound like a guy who worked for one of the biggest fast-food companies in the world. He personally tested "hundreds" of buns before landing on the potato bun used on Super Chix's chicken sandwiches, if that shows his dedication. Ouimet again distinguished himself as an all-in business owner when he publicly addressed his company's "soggy, cold, over-seasoned and under-seasoned" fries in a blog post soon after the first Super Chix opened.
Why be so transparent?
"The food needs to be killer," he assented. Today, there's a "seven-to-eight step process" for every made-to-order batch of fries, he says.
In Ouimet's wildest dreams, Super Chix might expand to 1,000 stores someday. For now, they're sticking with two. And maybe a massive expansion to the Middle East.
"We're not gonna be the biggest," Ouimet said in February, "but we're gonna be the best."
New Super Chix: in the CityLine development on 1551 East Renner Road, Richardson. Existing Super Chix: SW corner of Preston and Belt Line roads, 14999 Preston Road, Suite 226, Dallas.