Bojangles is an overrated North Carolina native institution

Ilia Young, Co-News Editor

Every United States region has their own unique food joints. One of North Carolina’s most iconic restaurants is Bojangles. Recently I tried the popular fast food restaurant and contrary to what native North Carolinians think, Bojangles isn’t “all that.”

Since moving to North Carolina in the summer of 2020, I’ve yet to try many of North Carolina’s native restaurants. But since social distancing restrictions have eased, I’ve been trying out different local restaurants.

Firstly, I found Bojangles’ food to be overpriced. I ordered the Homestyle Tenders Combo, which costs $8.69. Compared to other chicken tender meals at different fast food restaurants, this price isn’t outrageous. What made Bojangles overpriced was the cost in relation to the portion size.

Starting with the actual chicken, the meal included four tenders. They weren’t flavorless, but the breading could’ve been thicker. They were also thin compared to tenders from other chain restaurants like Zaxby’s or Raising Cane’s. With these other restaurants specializing in chicken too, I must cut Bojangles some slack. Bojangles offers bone-in chicken meals, chicken sandwiches and a few salads.

Fellow Rooster staff member and sophomore Eliza Gifford also tried Bojangles recently, citing that she more often chooses burgers over fried chicken and that’s why she had not tried Bojangles yet.

“I am very particular about my chicken, and I didn’t think Bojangles would be good,” Gifford said. “Honestly, Bojangles pleasantly surprised me. I wasn’t expecting much, but it lived up to the hype.”

The only redeeming quality of Bojangles are the biscuits.  While I’m not a big fan of biscuits in general, I must admit that Bojangles makes a decent biscuit. It wasn’t flat or undercooked in any way like some biscuits from other fast food places are.

“I’m not usually going to fast food places and being like, ‘Oh I could really go for a biscuit right now,’ but now I feel like I could go for a biscuit,” Gifford said.

When mentioning that I haven’t had a specific “Southern experience,” many people rush to ask why. I’ve lived all around the country, from North Dakota to Missouri to Nevada, so I’ve had my fair share of region-specific fast food.

Bojangles first opened in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1977. The chain quickly gained popularity in terms of fast-growing food chains. Fast food chains stay popular either based on overall experience and longevity, or through an iconic symbol.

For example, take In-N-Out Burger. It’s a chain fast-food restaurant that has been around since 1948. In my opinion, In-N-Out does have good food, however the portions are small and overpriced, similar to Bojangles. At this point people are paying for the brand rather than the food.

There are similarities and differences between Bojangles and In-N-Out. In-N-Out has an extra 30 years of experience dealing with the fast-food world. This has resulted in an iconic brand that draws in customers. Bojangles is also a household name, but much less known across the country.

Bojangles has survived solely on the loyalty of their consumers. Bojangles is restricted somewhat to the South and Midwest in terms of general location. Meanwhile, In-N-Out only has franchises on the West Coast.

By only having locations in the south, Bojangles brings a sense of Southern hospitality to their storefronts and food. The chicken is seasoned with a Cajun spice mix, so the chicken has a unique flavor.

However, in terms of a catchy slogan, Bojangles takes the cake. “It’s Bo’ Time,” has been permanently burned into my brain. For better or worse, I will not be thinking about any other restaurant when I hear that phrase.