- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 6, 2003

The owners of the Jerry’s Subs and Pizza chain have their hands full with fried chicken.

The franchiser for the Gaithersburg-based sub and pizza chain is also a franchisee for Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits and is adding locations around the Washington area.

Six Bojangles’ restaurants are open in Prince George’s County. The first location opened in 2001 and the most recent site opened last month outside Iverson Mall in Hillcrest Heights, Md. The company has plans to open two more Bojangles’ locations — one in New Carrollton in October and another in Waldorf in January.

“It’s all a matter of finding the right sites,” said Dana Siller, director of corporate marketing. “We’re always looking.”

But Mr. Siller says the local entrepreneurs won’t “bite off more than we can chew.”

“We’ll go to another concept before we oversaturate a market,” he said.

The Washington-area Bojangles’ locations are owned by Metro Chicken, which is made up of partners Adam Schwartz, Bob Begelman, Dave Terzian and Jay Smith. Those four partners are the franchiser for Jerry’s and also the franchisee for 10 Checkers Drive-In Restaurants in Maryland.

Metro Chicken does not have exclusive rights in the Washington area to develop the Bojangles’ brand known for its spicy fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits. Mr. Siller says new franchisees for Bojangles’ are welcome in the area because they would be able to split local advertising costs.

For instance, all 25 Checkers in the area share the nearly $1 million annual advertising cost. The 10 Checkers locations owned and operated by the four Jerry’s partners contribute about $400,000.

Metro Chicken spends about $1 million on advertising a year. Radio ads run on four stations that target the Prince George’s area. In August, the company will test ads running on cable television in southern Prince George’s County, Mr. Siller said.

Despite having a lot on their plate, the partners are not neglecting the other two concepts, which continue to expand locally. Jerry’s, which has 110 locations mainly in the Washington area, is expected to open three more locations next month. Checkers is looking into two sites in Baltimore, Mr. Siller said.

In other news

• Baja Fresh, a Mexican restaurant chain, and Washington Sports Clubs, a fitness chain, have signed leases at 1990 K St. NW. The 3,100-square-foot Baja Fresh is scheduled to open in September. The nearly 17,000-square-foot Washington Sports Club is slated to open at the end of the year. Madison Retail Group represented the Bernstein Cos., which is the property owner.

• Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, is opening a 104,000-square-foot store in Burke, Va., this winter. The discount retailer will take the place of a former Kmart at 6000 Burke Commons Road. The store will have about 250 employees.

• Carrabba’s, a division of Outback Steakhouse Inc., has purchased a 1.5-acre site in Bowie. The site, which is expected to open later this year, will be Carrabba’s fifth Italian restaurant in the Washington area. Sax Realty Inc. of Bethesda represented the seller, Argo Investments.

• Bartech Systems International, which makes automated minibars for hotel rooms, opened an office in Las Vegas to handle the increased number of clients in that area. The company, with headquarters in Millersville, Md., has its electronic refrigerator units at the 3,005-room Bellagio and the 3,044-room Mirage. The refrigerator units are designed to bill items to a guest’s room automatically.

Got news? Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Retail & Hospitality runs every other Monday.

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