Happy 44th Birthday, Bojangles'
Warning: This story may encourage you to spoil your supper with a BoBerry biscuit.
It's Bo time, because on this day in 1977, the first ever Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits
opened its doors in Charlotte, North Carolina, and introduced the world to its spicy fried chicken. The ever-expanding restaurant chain, which is opening 21 new Bojangles outposts in Houston and the Dallas-Fort Worth area in the next year or so, has been a Southern staple ever since.
The company was founded by two men who knew a lot about fried chicken and biscuits—John Fulk, a North Carolina local who owned a Hardee's franchise and helped make their breakfast biscuits famous, and former KFC President of Operations, Richard Thomas, who got his start at the chicken company after sleeping outside Colonel Sanders' office to ask for a job. Thomas then owned and operated a fried chicken restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina, called Sunny's, which was a short-lived venture.
Interestingly, when the first Bojangles opened its doors, it was a walk-in restaurant with no seating. According to AL.com, those first Bojangles' customers only had the option of ordering the spicy Cajun chicken, because the fast-food chain didn't introduce its mild seasoning until 1986. Perhaps more shocking, though, their scratch-made biscuits weren't on the original menu! Soon, Fulk added those mouth-watering biscuits, that reportedly take 48 individual steps to make perfectly, and they were a smash hit helping the restaurant's sales increase by 60 percent.
The first Bojangles franchise opened in 1978 and more locations popped up across the state soon after. From there, the chicken-and-biscuit empire grew rapidly. While its roots are firmly embedded in the South, according to NCPedia, there are over 600 shops around the globe, including Bojangles' outposts in New York, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, China and Ireland.
And to think it all started on this day in 1977! Mark your calendars, because July 6 is an occasion worth celebrating every year.