Franchisees £50,000 refit at Southern Fried Chicken, the chicken take-away franchise

The major upgrade of a Southern Fried Chicken store in South Shields has seen the two franchisees and their franchisor reunited after they appeared on Channel 4’s Undercover Boss last year.

Andrew Withers, (centre) managing director and owner of Southern Fried Chicken (SFC) and the two franchisees, brothers Azman (left) and Amir Ali, have invested a total of £50,000 to completely refurbish the premises. The Undercover Boss programme, which aired last July, had Withers make secret visits to his franchises throughout the country and it highlighted some particular challenges at the Tyneside outlet.

Amir and Azman have been in business together 13 years together and have been running their takeaway since 1998.

Azman Ali said: “It has been an interesting process. We’ve worked closely with Mr Withers and the SFC head office to ensure that we are at the forefront of what the company as a whole is trying to achieve. We’re really pleased with the results, including a brand new shop front, redecoration throughout, and tables with fixed seating. The new branding is really fresh and makes the shop look far more modern.”

Withers commented: “The Ali family were fantastically welcoming when I visited them during the show and it was great to go back to re-open the store, which looks fantastic. “I could always see the potential in the site. The fact we have been able to progress and work together has meant a lot to me personally.”

SFC is one of the UK’s fastest growing fast-food franchises, offering quality food, hearty portions, good service, a multi-choice menu and fair prices.It has launched its new look in over 30 countries worldwide and Withers continues to focus on UK development as he looks to launch 200 new stores over the next five years.

His father, Arthur Withers, trademarked the name ‘Southern Fried Chicken’ in 1983 following a period of work on a chicken farm in Norfolk and in Greenville, Carolina, where he came across the unique SFC recipe.

SFC differs from many of its competitors in that it prepares all its food freshly on the premises and does not use reconstituted chicken meat in any of its chicken products, supporting its lip licking slogan. All its chicken is also sourced in the UK.

SFC is part of the Fast Food Systems, which is the holding company of several well-known brands, such as Southern Fried Chicken, AJ’s Piri Piri, and Vizu equipment. FFS is a European leader in the supply and manufacture of commercial catering equipment.