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Chicken Salad Chick continues expansion in new markets

Chicken Salad Chick is expanding in Illinois.

The fast-casual chicken salad restaurant brand is opening a location in East Peoria. It follows Chicken Salad’s Chick entry into Illinois last year, with a location in Edwardsville.

Chicken Salad Chick is closely following state guidelines and will open the East Peoria restaurant at limited capacity with social distancing measures in place. Additionally, all employees will be wearing masks and gloves, as well as practicing proper handwashing and food safety protocol.

The East Peoria restaurant is owned and operated by first-time Chicken Salad Chick franchise owner Yonas Hagos of DLH Chicken Salad EP, LLC. More than two decades ago, Hagos and his family fled a Sudan refugee camp and moved to Wheaton, Illinois, where his love for the restaurant industry began. He started working at a fast-food restaurant at the age of 14 and stayed in the food-service industry until his enlistment in the military after the 9/11 attacks.

Hagos completed tours in Germany, Kuwait, and Iraq and after nearly losing his life, was awarded a purple heart for his efforts. Upon his return to the U.S., Hagos went on to open seven Dunkin' Donuts locations, one Arby's restaurant, 12 Smoothie King franchises and is now expanding his portfolio to include Chicken Salad Chick. Hagos plans to open an additional location in Bloomington over the next few years. 

Chicken Salad Chick, a winner of Chain Store Age’s 2020 Breakout Brands awards, was founded in Auburn, Alabama, in 2008. It operates more than 160 restaurants in 17 states and is continuing its rapid expansion with both franchise and company locations.

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