The staff on hand at Popeye's Chicken and Biscuits before it opened Thursday got out unscathed after they smelled smoke and called for help.
The 2525 E. Pinetree Blvd. restaurant caught fire minutes before 9:30 a.m.
The fire had been extinguished by 11 a.m., but firefighters were slated to re-enter the building later in the day to ensure no fire hotspots remained after the blaze was out.
"Employees said they smelled smoke and a few minutes later the building was filled with smoke, " said Thomasville Fire/Rescue Chief Fire Marshal Tim Connell
Connell said the blaze began in the restaurant restroom. The fire made its way up the restroom walls and onto the roof.