The 5 Most Frequently Asked Questions about Guthrie’s Franchising

Guthrie's Chicken | February 25, 2021

When signing on as a new franchise partner, even with an established brand such as Guthrie’s, it’s important to do your proper due diligence and ask the right questions. Thankfully for prospective Guthrie’s franchisees, the brand’s development team is well-versed in the kind of in-depth knowledge that franchise candidates seek and they’re always ready to share their insights. Below are five of the most frequently asked questions prospective Guthrie’s franchisees typically ask.

1. What is the investment needed to open a Guthrie’s restaurant?

With a strong brand identity, excellent franchise relationships, and a passionate executive leadership team in place, Guthrie’s also boasts an affordable initial investment beginning as low as $261,000 for a single restaurant, excluding real estate costs.

2. How did Guthrie’s get started and where is it going?

Fifty-Five years ago, Hal Guthrie opened a family style drive-in restaurant in Haleyville, Ala. and by 1982, Guthrie had opened a second location in Auburn, Ala. But with this new location came some bold and daring decision making – to build a restaurant menu around a single item. From this unassuming and humble beginning, a chicken fingers revolution grew.

Today, more than five decades later, the Guthrie’s brand, which pioneered the chicken finger-only restaurant, still draws in crowds across the country for its hand-breaded chicken fingers rooted in a tradition of fresh, hot, and fast, with a generous dash of southern hospitality. With history on its side and nearly 40 restaurants spread across the Southeast and Midwest, operational efficiency and unit profitability are driving Guthrie’s ongoing success as the brand sharpens its focus on franchise expansion and steady growth.

“If there is one thing that the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it is that in order to operate as a successful franchisee you must have a passion and determination  for what you do,” said Joe Kelly Guthrie, CEO of Guthrie’s Franchising, Inc. “There is something simple, something iconic about Guthrie’s golden fried chicken fingers that everyone can relate to – it’s very strong and powerful. Chicken fingers have been very resilient in this COVID-19 environment. Guests appreciate our value, even more so  during uncertain times. In fact, because of the strength of our brand and the resiliency of our franchisees, we expect our strong sales numbers to continue to rise into the foreseeable future.”

3. How do I stay competitive? What makes Guthrie’s different?

To know that we were the original chicken finger-only concept that helped forge a completely new restaurant segment is something we’re extremely proud of.

With one foot anchored in tradition and the other firmly planted in the future, Guthrie’s efficient operational model along with its commitment to its franchisees, ongoing training and support, powerful marketing, simplified menu, and balanced labor costs, is credited for igniting our future and current growth.

“Our food is simple. Our process is simple,” said Guthrie. “We have been blessed to be able to partner with amazing franchisees and help put them on a path to small business ownership. The Guthrie’s franchise model is really about building community while determining your own financial future. Nothing we do is extremely complicated, however there are many small secrets and little things that go into our entrepreneurial equation to produce the best chicken fingers in the world.”

4. What kind of training and support can I expect as a Guthrie’s franchisee?

At Guthrie’s, you’re not flying solo. All franchise partners complete a comprehensive training program at our headquarters in Auburn, Ala. along with in-restaurant training. We provide ongoing support to streamline operations and maximizing franchise profitability, while tracking key performance metrics throughout the system to identify opportunities for amplified growth. Guthrie’s also committed to providing best-in-class marketing; technical, sales and business support.

5. What are the keys to success for a Guthrie’s franchisee?

“Guthrie’s attracts a high-caliber franchisee and they always want to know, ‘How do I become the best Guthrie’s restaurant owner?” said Guthrie. “What new franchisees quickly embrace is that Guthrie’s has a great system for sharing knowledge and best practices, which is ultimately why someone would choose the Guthrie’s system in the first place – to be in business for themselves but not by themselves.”

To learn more or inquire why Guthrie’s is one of the best franchises to buy, visit