Bojangles chicken and biscuits chain to open 15 Columbus restaurants

Patrick Cooley
The Columbus Dispatch
Longtime Bojangles franchisee Jeff Rigsby plans to open 15 restaurants in central Ohio.

The iconic chicken and biscuits chain Bojangles is expanding into Ohio, and Columbus is its first market. The move comes at a time when fried chicken joints seem more popular than ever. 

The fast food chain, which is known for its southern comfort food, plans to open 15 stores in the Columbus area after the company partnered with longtime franchisee Jeff Rigsby to open 45 restaurants throughout the south and the Midwest.

Bojangles has 760 restaurants in the southeastern United States, and the foray into Columbus marks its first move into Ohio.

The closest Bojangles to Columbus is currently in Louisville, Kentucky, which is more than a 3-hour drive from central Ohio.

The company did not share specific plans for where it will put its central Ohio restaurants. Rigsby plans to open his 45 new restaurants over the course of seven years, the release said.

The first of those new restaurants will open its doors this year.

Rigsby is the most prolific Bojangles franchise owner with 92 restaurants, the news release said. That's before the 45 new stores.

He started with the company as an area supervisor in Greenville, South Carolina, and then worked his way up to director of operations for 35 restaurants in the South.

Rigsby bought his first six Bojangles franchises in 2001.