CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Queen City News) – Bojangles is pairing down its menu as the restaurant born in Charlotte expands into new markets. 

The chicken-and-biscuits chain is eliminating its signature bone-in chicken in new locations in the South and Midwest to emphasize chicken tenders and sandwiches. CEO Jose Armario revealed in A Deeper Dive podcast it’s a move that follows customer demand for the boneless options. 

“Boneless chicken has been on the rise last several years, and it’s almost preferred,” Armario said. “We have lot of demand, but are also stressed on labor side. We have to be productive and efficient to give customers what they want.” 

The boneless-only menus will be available for lunch and dinner, but the traditional fixin’s remain. Further, the breakfast menu featuring scratch-made biscuits will still be intact. Armario said almost 40 percent of the restaurant’s business takes place before 11 a.m. 

Bojangles opened its 800th location late last year in Monroe, Louisiana, and there are 132 more planned in the coming years. Other locations with the new menu opened in Memphis, Tennessee, and there are also several under construction in Florida, Texas and Ohio.

Armario said the new locations will leave room for “an extra fryer or two” in case the bone-in is eventually added there.

“We’re giving the customer what they want when they go to Bojangles,” he said. “We’ve been pleasantly surprised.”

The company opened its first restaurant in 1977 at the corner of South Tryon Street and West Boulevard, a location that still operates today. Armario took over after it was sold in 2018 to New York-based Durational Capital Management.