Back in early 2008, https://www.storeholidayhours.org/popeyes-louisiana-kitchen-menu-prices/ languished in quick-service mediocrity. A whole new management team led by Cheryl Bachelder, a 1-time president of rival KFC, was charged to steady the 1,900-unit company, but a litany of internal and external pressures complicated the work.
Same-store sales, average unit volume (AUV), and transaction counts had suffered numerous years of declines, and the ones downward trends placed the company at odds using its franchisees, a lot of whom considered the Atlanta-based company mismanaged and self-serving. As though that wasn’t enough, the fantastic Recession struck, spurring a precipitous drop in consumer confidence that further challenged gains.
Then, in March 2008, Popeyes founder Al Copeland, who had built the fried chicken-peddling chain from a single unit in to a global enterprise of some 800 units, died at age 64. Though Copeland had not directed the company for more than 15 years, his death seemed a symbolic public blow to your brand clamoring permanently news-a bit of good news. “The brand hadn’t been managed well,” says Di.ck Lynch, one of Bachelder’s early management hires and the company’s chief brand officer, “and we necessary to get back to normal.”
And that’s exactly what Popeyes did. During the last eight years, the chain has become a reinvigorated, lively force in the quick-service game, shifting its results, public perception, and its future prospects.
In 2015, Popeyes added nearly $700 million in systemwide sales for the year-leapfrogging Papa John’s to enter the best 20 inside the QSR 50-and captured same-store sales gains of 5.7 percent at its domestic units, the seventh consecutive year of positive comp sales. The enterprise also reached two new development milestones: opening a record 219 restaurants in 2016-125 of those within the Usa-and crossing 2,500 total units, an army of restaurants scattered across the Usa and more than two dozen other nations around the world.
In 1972, Copeland opened Chicken on the Run in Arabi, Louisiana, a brand new Orleans suburb on the eastern side of the Mississippi River. Within months of opening, lackluster sales prompted Copeland-a one-time local doughnut magnate unafraid of bold ideas-to change course. He altered his eatery’s menu from traditional Southern-fried chicken to spicy, New Orleans-style chicken and also installed the Popeyes moniker, a nod to Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, the detective character within the French Connection portrayed by Gene Hackman.
By the mid-1980s, Popeyes was actually a growing phenomenon. The chain boasted more than 500 units, including restaurants outside of the U.S., and had end up being the third-largest quick-service chicken chain.
But Copeland’s ambitious appetite proved too mighty. In 1991, his company was forced into bankruptcy after his 1989 buying of rival Church’s Fried Chicken soured. The business reorganized as AFC (America’s Favorite Chicken) Enterprises shortly thereafter.
Throughout the 1990s and to the modern day, Popeyes Catering menu prices struggled to find solid footing. It acquired and then sold brands like Seattle’s Best Coffee and Cinnabon. It lacked direction and purpose amid a revolving door of CEOs, along with persistent sales, profit, and store-traffic declines. Franchisees became increasingly frustrated.
When Bachelder was appointed CEO in 2007, the company was drowning in a surging wave of missteps. “It was the land of silos,” says Amy Alarcon, Popeyes’ v . p . of culinary innovation, who joined the company in 2007. “Franchisees looked at us with lots of suspicion, and we had to break through that noise and unite.”
Bachelder and her leadership team responded by introducing a Strategic Roadmap made to fuel results, unify the manufacturer, re-establish trust with franchisees, and propel the brand’s floundering marketplace standing.
There is the launch of new products, including snack items and lighter alternatives to the core bone-in chicken offering; a store remodeling project; new menuboards; and a new advertising agency. The multi-million-dollar efforts were designed to drive traffic and prevent consistent same-store sales declines.
“We weren’t a national advertiser in 2008, and were only in about 30 percent of the Usa,” Lynch says, calling the company’s advertising spend “completely inefficient.”
Right after, Annie, a fictional character played by actress Deidrie Henry, had become the brand’s new spokeswoman, a situation made to share blunt talk about Popeyes’ authentic and tasty food. There npdcjl additionally a revised name, as Popeyes dropped its “Chicken & Biscuits” tag in support of “Louisiana Kitchen,” an endeavor to celebrate the brand’s heritage of Louisiana-inspired home cooking.
“We wanted to tell the brand’s story and present https://popeyes.com/menu/ brand relevance … and this started with bringing the brand back to its Louisiana roots and rendering it authentic. We believed we couldn’t tell our brand story without having a new brand identity,” says Lynch, who developed brand strategy and innovation plans for concepts like Burger King, Ruby Tuesday, and Buffalo Wild Wings before his arrival at Popeyes in 2008.