American fast-casual brand Slim Chickens has been trading “well above expectations”, Boparan Restaurant Group’s chief executive Tom Crowley has told MCA.

Boparan, which is rolling out the chicken concept in the UK, announced earlier this week that it would be adding a fifth site to its estate at the end of September – a conversion of its Giraffe restaurant in The Brunswick shopping centre in Bloomsbury.

Crowley said that trading has been strong across all sites, with double-digit like-for-like sales (lfls) growth being seen at its mature stores. “Add this to our industry leading guest satisfaction scores for our chicken quality and Southern US hospitality and we are very pleased with progress so far,” he added.

He said the business was looking at “a significant amount of locations” across the UK and Ireland at he the moment. “More importantly we are laser-focussed on making sure each new Slims store opens strongly and our existing stores continue to grow at double digit lfls,” he said.

Crowley explained the business was concentrating on how it could develop the brand, rather than focusing too heavily on the roll out. “However, we are confident the UK opportunity is significant and we are gearing up accordingly,” he said.

Commenting on rumoured upcoming openings in Liverpool and Bristol, he said that while a number of new locations are under consideration, the group has not yet approved the next store after The Brunswick Centre.

“London continues to be a very strong market for Slims, particularly in light of recent reports that Londoners are turning away from other choices and opting for chicken at lunchtime, so we are definitely looking at more locations,” explained Crowley; but added that it was too early to say how many stores it could achieve across the capital.

Crowley had previously told MCA that the roll-out of the brand would be through the acquisition of new sites rather than conversions, however the majority of Slim Chickens’ openings so far have been conversions of either Giraffe or Ed’s Easy Diner sites, but Crowley said this would not always be the case going forwards.

“We have completed a number of conversions so far as they are simply the quickest projects to get away and we have some perfect Slims locations in our property portfolio however as we look to scale up we will be looking at new locations,” he said.

Slim Chickens is looking to open its sixth UK restaurant before Christmas.

The first Slim Chickens opened in the US, in Arkansas, in 2003, and now has more than 80 sites in the States.