If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the states where there’s a location of Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits, then there’s most likely a soft spot in your heart for it. But even if you can’t go a week without seeking out your biscuit fix, we bet that there’s a lot you didn’t know about this Charlotte-based legend.
While running his Hardee’s franchise, Fulk (left) consistently messed around with the menu, introducing several items that weren’t sanctioned by corporate, including a breakfast biscuit and a roast beef sandwich. He also used his time at Hardee’s to perfect the biscuit recipe became the Bojangles’ hallmark.
Fulk and Thomas’ fried chicken was slightly spicier than that of their competitors, which made the first restaurant, on West Boulevard in Charlotte, North Carolina, instantly popular. But once biscuits were added to the menu shortly after opening, sales jumped a whopping 60 percent, leading the duo to open a second location the following year.
In 1981, Fulk and Thomas sold the company to none other than Horn & Hardart, which is perhaps best-known for its countless automats opened in New York and Philadelphia in the early decades of the twentieth century. By the 1980s, the company was in serious decline and decided to diversify its portfolio by getting in on the fast-food game and purchasing Bojangles’. The company grew the chain rapidly, expanding it to 335 restaurants (including 100 in Florida) and sold it to a California company in 1990 for $20 million.
The “Cheddar Bo” is Bojangles’ most elusive and sought-after menu item, and for a long time was only available in eastern North Carolina and parts of Virginia. It’s a biscuit sliced in half and filled with oozing melted Cheddar; it inspired so much cult-like devotion among its followers that there was a movement to bring it system-wide. In January 2015, it finally enlarged its footprint to the majority of Bojangles’ locations, but this was only a limited-time offer so it sadly once again has become scarce.
Andrew D. via Yelp
When Bojangles’ entered the New York market in 1982, there was much rejoicing, but its Manhattan location remained the only one in the state until it was closed by a new parent company in 2007 due to a lack of quality control and infrastructure. Today, the northernmost location can be found in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Each outpost of Bojangles’ sells about 945 of their famous buttermilk biscuits per day, on average. Each location has a full-time biscuit-maker, who goes through extensive training and must sign a detailed contract before selling biscuit. Making each batch of biscuits requires 48 individual steps!