I have been waiting for this grand opening for what feels like years. But time simply moves slower when you're craving gas station fried chicken.

I actually have no scientific evidence to back up that last part, so take that with a grain of salt, but I have been eager to eat some Royal Farms fried chicken without having to drive an hour to do so.

Right at the intersection of Route 70 and Route 88 in Brick, the construction of Ocean County's first Royal Farms has crept along for a long time, and if you've passed it in the last month or so, it looks like it's ready to go.

Daniel Nee of the Shore Beat quotes Brick Mayor John Ducey as saying the store "will not open until they have at least 50 employees."

While the staffing shortage has impacted businesses nationwide, Royal Farms competitors Wawa and QuickChek have the ability to move employees around from different locations nearby. The Brick Royal Farms, on the other hand, is so isolated from other NJ locations, that tactic simply can't work.

The closest locations are in Egg Harbor Township just off the Parkway, Manville, and Marlton. About an hour in each direction from Brick.

I was raised with the mindset that if you want something to happen, you have to take matters into your own hands. So if I have to pick up an overnight shift at the Brick Royal Farms just to fill out the roster to ensure that I can enjoy their fried chicken whenever I want, I may have to do it.

Along with fried chicken and chicken sandwiches, Royal Farms is known, primarily in Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland, for its fries, coffee, and sandwiches. The experience is very similar to that of Wawa or QuickChek. You order on a touch screen, pay, then wait for your food to be ready.

There's a good chance, in my opinion, Royal Farms entering the Jersey Shore area will turn the super-convenience turf war upside down. What was once a 'Hatfields and McCoys' situation between Wawa and QuickChek could soon turn into a Mêlée à Trois.

I have no doubt Royal Farms will be a hit with people in the area, so it should be interesting to see if its rivals, that are having their territory invaded, pivot to offering up fried chicken deals of their own.

If you want to apply to the Brick Royal Farms so I can get my fix sooner, click here.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 producer, writer, and host Joe Votruba. Any opinions expressed are his own.

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Dennis' look inside Royal Farms

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