Chicken-and-biscuits restaurant chain Bojangles Restaurants Inc. has tapped banks to pursue an initial public offering that could value it at nearly $1 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.  The IPO could raise about $125 million and will likely come in the first half of next year.

The Charlotte-based company, which has approximately 600 locations, is working with banks including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo & Co., Jefferies Group LLC, Barclays PLC, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Piper Jaffray Cos. on the deal.

The chain generated sales of $925 million last year, up 7 percent from the prior year, making it the fifth-largest chicken restaurant chain in the United States, Technomic said. Its average customer check was $6.45 in 2013, according to Technomic.

The chain’s pitch to investors may be its potential to expand, as well as its big business making breakfast. About 40 percent of its sales come before 11 a.m., when many fast-food restaurants are closed or see little traffic.

Bojangles opened in 1977, and shortly began franchising. In 2011, current majority owner Advent International Corp., a private equity firm, acquired the stake from Falfurrias Capital Partners.

Restaurants have been one of the busiest corners of the consumer-focused IPO market. Currently Habit Restaurants Inc., a burger chain, and J. Alexander’s Holdings Inc., a sit-down restaurant, are on file to go public. Wingstop Restaurants Inc. recently met with banks to plot an IPO.

The initial performance of restaurant IPOs recently has mostly been strong, drawing more deals to the market. Mediterranean-themed Zoe’s Kitchen Inc. has more than doubled in price from its April IPO, as did chicken restaurant El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. since its debut in July.