Find a Texas Rangers Trophy Tour stop at a Golden Chick near you!


The Golden Chick Story

The Golden Chick story began in San Marcos, Texas when the concept was created by a former employee of another franchise who believed he had a better way. His first restaurant opened under the banner of “GOLDEN FRIED CHICKEN”. The delicious chicken, made from a secret marination process and batter mix, attracted franchise inquires almost from the start. By the time the founder sold the chain in 1982, it had grown to 39 restaurants.

In March 1989, Golden Fried Chicken was purchased by an investment group whose involvement was strongly supported by the current franchisees. Since then, the chain has expanded to over 175 units across 5 states and the brand shows no signs of slowing down.

In September, 1993, the company introduced exciting new enhancements to the Golden Fried Chicken menu as well as the restaurant appearance and thus was Golden Chick was born, a concept positioned to propel the Golden chain into the future. As of 1996, all new stores were called Golden Chick.

It’s been over 50 years since the first Golden Fried Chicken opened in San Marcos, Texas. We feature the best fried chicken, our Original and Still the Best™ Golden Tenders, Golden Roast, salads, and the best sides in the business. We invite you to visit and enjoy Golden Chick today.

A Tender Story

In 1985, the Original Golden Tender™ was born. Golden Fried Chicken started using only the whole chicken tenderloin (the filet mignon of chicken). Marinated for 24 hours, those tenders were then hand battered and cooked to perfection.

The Original Golden Tender.™ Once you Taste the Best…You’ll Forget the Rest!

The Golden Chick Story

First Location

1967: Our First Location, San Marcos, TX

The very first Golden Fried Chicken was opened by Howard and Jacque Walker in San Marcos Texas on South LBJ Drive. Mr. Walker was a World War II Navy veteran, and Ms. Walker was a graduate of Southwest Texas State University with strong ties to San Marcos. The first location has long since closed and been relocated, but what was started in 1967 by Mr. & Mrs. Walker lives on today.

Simple Deep-Fried Goodness

The Original Menu – Simple Deep-Fried Goodness!

From the very beginning, what made Golden Fried Chicken special was the made-from-scratch recipes and uncompromising care and marination of every single piece of chicken. The original menu included just Fried Chicken and “English” biscuits … starting at 49¢ for two large pieces of chicken and a biscuit!

Simple Deep-Fried Goodness

1971-1985 – Rapid Growth for Golden Fried Chicken

With outstanding recipes and a growing fan base, Golden Fried Chicken locations began popping up all over Central Texas. Very quickly, the familiar golden awnings of Golden Fried Chicken were a beloved site in small and mid-sized towns across Texas. From #1 San Marcos to #2 New Braunfels to #3 Georgetown, and so on, many of the original Golden Fried Chick locations still exist across central Texas.

First Location

1985 – The Original Golden Tender is invented by Golden Fried Chicken

In 1985, The Original Golden Tender™ was born. We started using whole chicken tenderloin (the filet mignon of chicken) to make our Original Golden Tenders™. To guarantee great fresh taste we marinate our tenderloins, then hand-batter and cook them to a delicious golden perfection. Since 1985, the “Big Guys” have tried to copy us … and they’re still trying to get it right.

First Location

1989 - Golden Fried Chicken Chain Purchased by Mark Parmerlee

In 1989, Golden Fried Chicken was purchased by the Parmerlee family and to this day remains a family owned corporation. The purchase was strongly supported by the franchise community, and since then, the chain has experienced steady growth approaching 200 locations across 5 states.

First Location

1991 – 1st Celebrity Spokesperson Is a Dallas Cowboy All Pro!

Golden Fried Chicken’s very first celebrity spokesperson was Dallas Cowboys’ All-Pro Tight End Jay Novacek. Mr. Novacek remains a close friend to this day of Mr. Parmerlee and “kicked off” a series of successful TV spots celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Golden Fried Chicken.

First Location

1992 – Golden Roast Introduced

To help celebrate our 25th Anniversary, Golden Fried Chicken introduced a revolutionary flavor not available in any other chicken chain – Golden Roast. Using our signature marinade and seasonings, our Golden Roast remains one of our most popular selections today. Our Golden Roast is lower in calories & better for you, yet still delivers great Golden Chick flavor. Who says you can’t be healthy and satisfied?

First Location

1993 - Golden Fried Chicken become GOLDEN CHICK!

Our new name was introduced in 1993 complete with our new mascot, Clucky the Chicken. Golden Chick proudly serves the best prepared and flavorful chicken and side dishes in the industry. Our tagline of “The Original and Still the Best” harkens back to our roots in 1967 in San Marcos, Texas. We are quickly growing but remain humble and true to our “born in Texas” heritage.

First Location

2006 – Yeast Rolls Introduced

This was not a “half baked” idea … Golden Chick introduced their fresh baked yeast rolls in 2006 and they remain a guest favorite today. Our yeast rolls are baked fresh and hot throughout each an every day. With a light and buttery taste, our yeast rolls are just another of the unique items you can’t get anywhere else.

First Location

2011 – Bring on the Freshness

Continuing to ignore what traditional chicken restaurants feature, Golden Chick introduced a line of premium salads in 2011. We didn’t do it to be popular, we did it because many of our guests wanted more healthful and fresh choices. The fact that they are delicious is just an added bonus.

First Location

2016 – Getting Some Respect

Zagat cites Golden Chick’s Chicken Salad Sandwich as “chain foods we secretly love”. This national recognition for our Chef Stephan Pyle’s created recipe only validates what Golden Chick customers have known for years.

First Location


The modern era of Golden Chick is marked not only by our rapid growth, but by a focus on making sure every single Golden Chick guest is satisfied. Our crewmembers deliver not only the best chicken in the industry, but they serve it with a genuine smile!

First Location

TODAY – top 200 U.S. Brand and Growing!

Golden Chick is one of the fastest growing restaurant brands in the U.S. and was recognized as one of the very top brands in the country by Nation’s Restaurant News. Big things are planned for the little brand that started in San Marcos back in 1967. If there’s not a Golden Chick in your city now, there probably will be soon.