Mrs. Winner's Chicken & Biscuits
|Key people||Jack C. Massey, Founder
Jeff Miller, CEO
Chuck Cooper, President
Daryl Berry, Co-Owner and Chief Operating Officer
James Beasley III, Co-Owner and Chief Marketing Officer
|Products||Fast food, including fried chicken, biscuits and fixins|
Mrs. Winner's Chicken and Biscuits was a regional fast food restaurant in the U.S. Southeast which specialized in fried chicken. Mrs. Winner's was founded in 1979 by Jack C. Massey. Massey's operating company, Volunteer Capital, bought the Granny's of Atlanta chain of 21 restaurants from L.S. Hartzog and renamed them Mrs. Winner's Chicken & Biscuits. In 1982, Volunteer Capital was renamed Winners Corp. and by December there were 64 restaurants under the Mrs. Winner's umbrella. In 1984 the chain boasted a total of 184 stores but by 1989 after four years of losses, the company decided to sell the franchise. to RTM Inc., Arby's largest franchisee, for about $30 million.
In 2006, Famous Recipe Company Operations, Inc., owner of the Lee's Famous Recipe franchise, acquired Mrs. Winners. As of August 2007, there were 113 locations in North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Kentucky.
Massive closings of Mrs. Winners were reported in October, 2010. The company posted this statement on its website on October 19, 2010:
"To our valued customers: We have been forced to close a number of our Mrs. Winner’s company-operated restaurants which have long been operating unprofitably. The surviving core of 16 company restaurants, along with our 15 franchised restaurants, combine to provide us with a profitable base from which to retrench and to retool the Mrs. Winner’s brand. After years of battling so many problem locations, we can now finally focus on opportunities and not just problems. And we will do so with a renewed focus on restoring and rebuilding Mrs. Winner’s. We have an action plan that includes new and exciting products in addition to the proud staples of our past. Please know that Mrs. Winner’s is not going away. Instead, know that better days are ahead. We may be a smaller brand, today than yesterday; however, that will allow us to be much more nimble and proactive in introducing the new products, new design and, other initiatives in the pipeline."
Fortunately for the 14 company-owned, 16 franchised, and two "licensed" locations remaining that managed to stay afloat during the recession have made strong gains and are considered to have healthy balance sheets.
On November 10, 2010, Famous Recipe Company Operations, LLC, d/b/a Mrs. Winner's Chicken & Biscuits, filed a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Georgia. Ch. 11 Case No. 10-94027. The Bankruptcy schedules listed assets of $2,397,946.82 and liabilities of $21,906,873.18.
Mrs. Winner's franchised restaurants continue to operate throughout the US.
- Ed Dinger, The Gale Group, Inc. (2006). "J. Alexander's Company Profile entry in the International Directory of Company Histories". Answers.com. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
- Staff Reports (1990-08-15). "Volunteer Capital reports earnings for Qtr to July 1". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
- Whittaker, Kamille (August 2007). "Southern Good". Atlanta Tribune.