Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken

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Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken
FounderLee Cummings, Harold Omer
HeadquartersFort Walton Beach, Florida
Area served
Worldwide, but primarily Midwest
Key people
Chuck Cooper, Jim Dooley
ParentFamous Recipe Group, LLC

Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken is a casual dining franchise founded in 1966 specializing in chicken, homestyle sides, and biscuits. There are currently 142 Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken locations in 13 states across America. The majority of Lee's stores are in the Midwestern United States, with a few locations in the Southern United States, but Lee's also has international locations in Canada and Jordan. Headquarters are located in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.


Lee Cummings, the nephew of Colonel Harland Sanders (founder of KFC), spent much of his childhood in the kitchen of his Henryville, Indiana home. Cummings began traveling with Sanders in 1952, selling their own special blend of spices along with their famous pressure cookers, which later became part of KFC's "Secret Recipe". In three years, Cummings and Sanders opened over 800 KFC restaurants.

After the sale of KFC in 1962, Cummings began developing his recipe, later to be known as "Famous Recipe." In 1966, Cummings, along with Harold Omer, started "Harold's Take-Home" in Lima, Ohio where Cummings first introduced his Famous Recipe Chicken. Later that year, Cummings opened the restaurant's first franchise in Columbus, Ohio. Locations in Springfield, Dayton, and Cincinnati, Ohio followed in the coming years, as well as a unit in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

In 1970 they went international with the opening of three units in Trinidad and, by 1972, there were more than 100 franchise units operating. By 1979, the number of units had doubled to 200 and, in 1981, Cummings sold the chain to Shoney's Restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee. Shoney's continued to operate Lee's along with their own Captain D's and Shoney's Restaurants until 1995, when Lee's was sold to RTM Restaurant Group in Atlanta, Georgia.[1]

In May 2003, the chain had 29 company-owned locations and 125 franchised locations. In October 2003, Lee's Famous Recipes Inc. purchased the chain from RTM. In April 2013, Famous Recipe Group LLC purchased the chain from Lee's Famous Recipes, Inc.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "RTM Restaurant Group." International Directory of Company Histories. The Gale Group, Inc, 2006. Answers.com 01 Aug. 2011.

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