Construction, labor issues delaying Slim Chickens

Slim Chickens chicken tenders
Construction and labor issues will delay the opening of a new restaurant concept for Maricopa. slim Chickens, which has a site in The Wells, will push its Maricopa opening later into 2023 due to the issues. []

Increasing labor and construction costs facing many restaurants coming to Maricopa – and other locations around the Valley – have claimed another victim.

Tom Barnett, owner of franchise rights for up to 32 Slim Chickens restaurants in Arizona, has acquired a site for one of those in Maricopa, but plans have hit a snag.

Barnett said groundbreaking, originally slated for the first quarter of 2023, is likely to be delayed.

“Construction and employee issues are causing us to delay,” Barnett said. “The employee situation is a mess.”

This is the restaurant’s second delay. Earlier, Barnett said a difficult permitting process and higher construction costs put plans behind.

He will debut the shop, which Barnett says is a competitor to Chick-Fil-A, between McDonald’s and Big 5 Sporting Goods along Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway, near Walmart in The Wells shopping center.

Barnett took nearly a year to find the location he wanted to bring a Slims to town. He is the operator of 53 Burger King restaurants across the state, including one in Maricopa on John Wayne Parkway and another on the way in The Wells.

He believes the Maricopa market is ideal for the Slim Chickens concept.

“The Slim Chickens in Maricopa is going to be the biggest restaurant we ever opened,” Barnett said earlier this year. “If we open four or five of these in the next year, Maricopa is going to do the most sales by a mile.”

The restaurant will have a huge potential market sitting right in its back yard. Maricopa has approved more than 1,300 apartments near Porter Road and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway in the past year, providing ideal market conditions for a fast-casual restaurant.