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Former Subway Executive and Liberal Resident to Open Several New Restaurants

Joe Denoyer - April 14, 2022 2:31 am

Chick N Max, a Wichita, Kansas-based fast casual franchise specializing in almond-wood smoked chicken and wings, has signed an area development agreement for 25 locations over the next 10 years. Leghorn Development LLC, led by restaurant franchise industry veteran Rusty Rathbun, will open three and is searching for franchise partners to develop the rest in various designated market areas throughout Kansas, including Dodge City, Hutchinson, Lawrence, Manhattan, Salina, Topeka and Wichita.

“The signing of this agreement represents a significant step in the growth of Chick N Max as we continue to drive our expansion efforts across the Central and Southeastern United States,” Chick N Max founder Max Sheets said in the release. “To uphold our brand and continue our strategy of steady, planned expansion, it’s critical to partner with the right franchisees. There’s no doubt we found the right partner in Rusty.”

Rathbun previously spent nearly 35 years as an area developer for Subway, where he was responsible for bringing the brand to Kansas in 1987 and ultimately had over 160 units under his purview throughout the Midwestern, Western and Southwestern U.S.

“I’ve been an admirer of the Chick N Max brand and exceptional guest experience for many years, and I’m excited to bring the award-winning concept to even more guests across Kansas,” Rathbun said. “I’m especially excited to be joining Max and his dynamic leadership team. Having the opportunity to grow the brand in Kansas, which I call home, gives me great pride.”

Founded in 2017 and franchising since 2021, Chick N Max offers 10 flavors of chef-crafted sandwiches, made with almond-wood smoked pulled chicken or fried tenders. In addition, Chick N Max serves chicken in the form of wings, leg quarters, breast quarters, and half chicken.

“Chick N Max’s made-from-scratch menu has something for everyone, with options for those looking to indulge to guests looking for a healthier take on traditional fast-casual chicken offerings,” Rathbun said.

The signing of the area development agreement with Rathbun comes at a time when Chick N Max is looking to expand across various parts of the Central and Southeastern United States. With three corporate-owned locations, the chain intends to double its footprint by the end of next year and open as many as five restaurants each year thereafter.


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