The chain’s system sales climbed 20% last year. Much of that was on the stamin of its brand-new chicken sandwich. Those sales aren’t slowing down.By Jonathan Maze ~ above Feb. 11, 2021

Same-store sales at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen decreased 6.4% in the last three months the 2020, parent company Restaurant Brands worldwide said on Thursday, noting a rare decrease for a chain that has actually been ~ above fire for more than a year.

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Yet 2020 was still huge for the chain, whose sales decline in the fourth quarter can be attributed completely to daunting comparisons—its same-store sales climbed 38% in the 4th quarter of 2019, after all, thanks to the development of that now-famous chicken sandwich.

It’s safe to say that the brand-new product was among the many relevant and popular new products come hit the industry in decades.

Popeyes’ system sales in the U.S. Rose more than 20% critical year, thanks largely to the chain’s 15.7% same-store sales growth. Domestically, the chicken chain added more than $760 million in sales over the food of those 12 months, even though sales plunged in the second half of March and into April because of the pandemic.

Go back to 2018, however, and the impact of the sandwich is even more dramatic. Over the past two years, system sales in ~ the chain have jumped 42%--up about $1.3 exchange rate total. It is the identical to adding a Bojangles come its mechanism sales over the food of 2 years.

A lot of that is unit count, i beg your pardon is up nearly 11% over the period. And also executives ~ above Thursday were rapid to suggest out the the chain has sold lot of of menu items other than that sandwich. “We had success throughout the menu,” RBI CEO Jose Cil claimed on Thursday, noting that the agency has marketed a many of assets for group and also family occasions. “We had actually growth across every category throughout the menu.”

Indeed, classic bone-in chicken has actually proven popular throughout the pandemic, as reflected in the solid sales of rival KFC.

Yet the sandwich has propelled Popeyes’ unit volumes—they are now $1.8 million, up from $1.4 million in the pre-sandwich days, causing “record level of four-wall profitability,” Cil said, and making Popeyes “one the the most interesting and financially rewarding QSR concepts.” the profitability should assist further unit development in the coming years, and Cil stated the company expects advance from “existing and new” franchisees.

Not surprisingly, Popeyes is currently doubling under on that is boneless chicken offerings. That jumped aboard the GameStop stock bandwagon recently with an sell for free chicken tenders. The is testing chicken nuggets in a handful of markets, potentially proclaiming the return that a product that has been off the food selection for ripe years.

And the agency this week presented a new Cajun Flounder Sandwich, which uses the very same bun and also the same pickles as the chicken sandwich, except with a piece of fried fish through Cajun seasoning and also some tartar sauce.

To it is in sure, Popeyes will have actually a lot much more competition in 2021. Chick-fil-A—the ultra-successful chicken sandwich chain—is publication a spicy variation of the Grilled Chicken Sandwich. Plenty of other competitors, consisting of Church’s, KFC, Wendy’s, McDonald’s and many others, have upgraded chicken sandwiches and also have or room planning come hold major introductions this year.

That list consists of Popeyes’ sister company, burgess King, which is working on a chicken sandwich that its own that would usage fresh, no frozen, chicken. Large franchisee Carrols Restaurant Group an initial mentioned the sandwich publicly last month.

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On Thursday, Cil shown it. In an “open letter” ~ above Thursday, Cil described “a new chicken sandwich in ~ Burger King” this year.

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