So many people came out to the Rigsby’s Pickens Bojangles location’s first day of business that there were no places for his employees to park.
“We had to park them over at Ingles,” Rigsby said.
The great turnout didn’t slow down very much at all during that first day of business, but Rigsby found some time to sit down with the Sentinel to speak about Pickens’ newest restaurant, located at 600 Ann Street in Pickens.
Rigsby owns not only the Pickens location, but 21 other locations in North and South Carolina.
“We have eight in the Upstate of South Carolina and 14 in Asheville and North Carolina,” he said.
The Pickens Bojangles currently employs 45 people, he said.
Advantages to working at Bojangles include insurance benefits for hourly employees, bonuses, above-average wages and regular contests for employees.
“Everybody has input into how the restaurant is run,” he said. “We do regular communication sessions with them. Our employee turnover is extremely low at all our locations.”
Management benefits for salaried managers include a 401k plan with Bojangles matching 50 cents for every dollar the employee contributes to the plan.
“If you do the right things by your folks, and then you retain them, then everybody wins,” he said. “They don’t have to change jobs. We get good, quality people that stay with us for a long period of time. It makes everything easier. And the end result is the customer gets consistently good service in a clean environment.”
Rigsby’s Upstate Bojangles locations include the Easley location and restaurants in Spartanburg, Boiling Springs and Chester.
He’s been with Bojangles for 16 years and has been in the chicken business for 32 years.
“I love the brand,” Rigsby said. “The product kind of has a cult following. People really crave the product.”
The kitchen sets Bojangles apart from other quick-service restaurant, he said.
“Our kitchen is like a full-service type kitchen,” he said. “We make a lot of our items from scratch — our dirty rice, our biscuits. We marinate our own chicken. It’s a lot of scratch cooking with high-quality food. That kind of gives us a point of difference from our competitors.”
Construction began on the Pickens Bojangles in mid-December, but the decision to bring Bojangles to Pickens was made two years ago, Rigsby said.
“We’ve worked with the schools out here for awhile from our Easley location,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of people ask us to build a store out here. With the new school being built up here, we thought it would be a good place for us to position ourselves.”
Rigsby said Bojangles likes to bring restaurants to smaller communities like Pickens.
“We’re in a lot of smaller communities like Pickens, so we can truly become good neighbors and get involved in what’s going on whether it be the schools, the churches, non-profit organizations or ball teams,” he said.
That involvement includes contributing to school scholarships.
“We usually go into a community, try to find out what’s important to that area and try to make sure we’re doing our part,” Rigsby said. “You build that relationship with customers. We’ll have customers that come in every day, especially at breakfast time.
“We really take seriously doing our part in the communities,” he continued.
Bojangles managers work to build relationships with local schools.
“It makes a big difference,” he said.
Bojangles is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, and stays open until 11 p.m. on weekends.