What competition? Local KFC franchisee breaks ground on new restaurant

Unfazed by a surge in competition from multiple other fried-chicken chains, a Bellbrook-based franchise owner of KFC has broken ground on a new restaurant close to home.

Dunn & Bowling LLC, which operates four Dayton-area KFC restaurants as well as two others in Kenton and Gallion, Ohio, will open its fifth Miami Valley restaurant on Clyo Road just east of Wilmington Pike, near the newly opened Elsa’s Corner Cantina Mexican restaurant. The space, south of  I-675, had been vacant.

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“We think that’s a great area,” Joan Bowling, president of the family-owned-and-operated Dunn & Bowling franchisee, told this news outlet. “I’m astonished at the growth of businesses and homes. We live in Bellbrook, and we’ve seen that area has just exploded.” 

>> CHICKEN WARS: Dayton-area competition intensifies with new-restaurant openings

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 The new KFC will be a prototype next-generation design that will seat 52 and employ about 35, Bowling said. If construction goes well, it could open by the end of November, she said. A KFC restaurant that had operated on Wilmington Pike at Whipp Road until it shut down in early 2016 was owned by a different franchise owner. 

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The chicken-restaurant market is becoming intensely competitive in the Dayton area, which has added more than a dozen new restaurants from national chains, regional start-ups and local, independent operators in the last four years. Bowling is confident her franchise KFC restaurants will succeed despite the surge in competition.

RELATED: Popeyes opens 4th Dayton-area restaurant; 5th on the way

“Our sales have been up substantially for the last year and a half,” Bowling said. “We have great people working for us, including managers that have been with us for 20 years. It’s all about treating customers right and serving a great product.”

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