Chicken Salad Chick serves up Southern favorites

Chicken Salad Chick is currently located on McFarland Blvd. in Northport, Ala.

Chicken Salad Chick is currently located on McFarland Blvd. in Northport, Ala.

Chicken Salad Chick is bringing tasty Southern favorites to the city of Northport, Ala.

The franchise started in Auburn, Ala., but has since grown to include eight stores around the state, the most recent being in Northport, which opened in November 2012.

Owner Becky Roland said she fell in love with the restaurant while her daughter was attending school at Auburn University and decided to buy her own store.

“My background is nursing and pharmaceutical sales so this is a first for me,” Roland said. “What I love about this is talking with the guests and getting their feedback and watching them enjoy a meal that was prepared here.”

Chicken Salad Chick offers 15 different flavors of chicken salad, as well as deli sandwiches, various side salads like pasta and broccoli salad and pimento cheese, which Roland said is a bestseller.

“It’s all made fresh here everyday,” Roland said. “Nothing is pre-packaged or prepared elsewhere.”

The restaurant also features a variety of soups like loaded potato and artichoke Florentine and daily chicken salad specials.

Roland said the franchiser of the company wants to keep continuity in the restaurants. While local owners can add their own decorations, the food and atmosphere is the same no matter where guests end up.

Roland, who is opening up her next store in Dothan, Ala., in September and a store in Tuscaloosa by December, has had help from her assistant manager, Sarah Grauel.

Grauel graduated from The University of Alabama in May with a degree in marketing.

“Even though I’m an assistant manager here right now, I took all those management classes through the business school,” Grauel said. “Hopefully as we expand, I’ll do [Becky’s] marketing for her.”

She said that since the Northport, store opened, most of the business has spread through word of mouth.

Grauel began working for Roland part time as a server during her senior year at the University to earn some extra money. Roland then offered her the opportunity to be an assistant manager and grow with the business.

“I’m going to go out and take people samples, take people menus, so rather than just people telling their friends, maybe offices who haven’t heard of it yet will start doing the big orders so we’ll get more advertising that way,” Grauel said.

As of now, her main duty is to keep the Facebook page updated with the daily specials and deal with customer service.

“Customer service is so important,” Grauel said. “Sometimes the customers make mistakes, and sometimes we do too, but it’s just one of the main things I’ve learned is customer service and patience and how to deal with any type of person.”

Chicken Salad Chick is currently located on McFarland Boulevard in Northport, and the Tuscaloosa restaurant is slated to be in Midtown Village.