Georgia company purchases Otter's for undisclosed sum

Deal results in closing of eatery's Demonbreun locale

Otter’s Franchising LLC, the Nashville-based parent company of Otter's Chicken Tenders, has been purchased by Marietta, Ga.-based Peterson Foods Inc.

The deal, announced today and financial terms of which were not disclosed, results in the shuttering of the franchisor’s Midtown-based restaurant on Demonbreun Street.

Peterson Foods Inc. had owned Otter’s Marietta franchise since 2010. The asset purchase agreement terminates the existing franchise agreement between Peterson Foods and Otter’s Franchising.

Stuart and Talbott Ottinger, Steve Logan and Charlie Fitzgerald founded Otter’s Chicken Tenders in Nashville in 2003. The fast-casual, sports-themed concept, which focuses on freshly prepared (not frozen) chicken tenders served in a variety of methods, was franchised and expanded to include locations in Tennessee, Georgia and Louisiana.

Peterson Foods opened its first restaurant in June 2010, with the Marietta site the only remaining Otter’s location. The company now plans to increase its operational focus with an eye on regional expansion through company-owned stores. Will Peterson, company president and CEO, said he plans to focus on expanding to 10-12 stores until he considers becoming a franchisor. He said he does not anticipate opening an Otter’s in the Nashville market.

Peterson said the Marietta-based Otter’s is thriving.

“We are in the middle of five high schools,” he said. “We’ve become a very family-friendly place, a place where anyone can come after a game.

“We share the same focus on taste, quality and value as those that founded Otter’s,” Peterson added. “Because our plan is to grow through company owned locations, we think this acquisition is a perfect match for our skills and expertise. It also allows us some additional flexibility in terms of where we grow and how we update our menu.”