A Pandemic Success Story, Popeyes Eyes New Shores

Chain to expand to new markets, open 200 restaurants in US and Canada this year
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2022 11:44 AM CDT
A Pandemic Success Story, Popeyes Eyes New Shores
A chicken sandwich is seen at a Popeyes, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, in Kyle, Texas.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Popeyes is promising speedy drive-thru service as it plans to open more than 200 new locations in the US and Canada this year—more than half of which will feature double drive-thrus. The company also announced Tuesday its plans to expand in the UK, China, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia, and to open its first locations in South Korea, Romania, India, and France, per MarketWatch. There will be several new locations in New York City, including a new flagship restaurant in Times Square, to feature a "two-story food transporter" to reach guests dining on a second floor, per CNN. The location is set to open as the chain celebrates its 50th birthday in June. Al Copeland opened the first Popeyes location, initially called "Chicken on the Run," in a suburb of New Orleans on June 12, 1972, per Time.

Popeyes is now "one of the fastest-growing brands within [Restaurant Brands International]," which also owns Burger King and Tim Hortons, "particularly as it relates to building new restaurants," Popeyes President Sami Siddiqui tells CNN. "The majority of growth is expected in the US and Canada, where the business has accelerated substantially." Though sales at Burger King and Tim Hortons slumped in 2020, Popeyes' sales climbed 17.7%. Sales at restaurants open at least one year also jumped 7.3% in 2021, per CNN. Last year, the company opened 208 new restaurants. "I firmly believe that the brand is poised to become one of the fastest growing in the industry," RBI CEO Jose Cil noted earlier this year. (More Popeyes stories.)

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