Church's Chicken

Church’s Chicken, Warner Bros. Make Some “Joyful Noise”

Church’s Chicken, the quick service restaurant chain, is partnering with Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures to celebrate the upcoming new film, Joyful Noise, starring Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah, in theaters Jan. 13, 2012. A national sweepstakes will award one lucky Church’s customer a prize package that includes a trip to Los Angeles to attend the movie premiere of Joyful Noise.

We're Sorry, Nashville

On March 3, Church’s Chicken announced that it would close all of its Nashville locations for 18 hours for an “intense customer service training boot camp.” The move was paired with an apology from John Bowie, president of U.S. operations at Church’s Chicken, who said in a statement, “We let our customers in Nashville down and for that, we apologize.”

The apology reportedly stemmed from a number of customer-service complaints at Church’s Chicken stores in the Music City.

Church's Chicken Launches Southern Style Sandwich

Church’s new Southern Style Chicken Sandwich is taking center stage on the QSR chain’s menu in its restaurants across the country.

The new Southern Style Chicken Sandwich is an all-white-meat 1/4 pound chicken breast filet with a slightly sweet and savory flavor served on a toasted buttered bun with crunchy dill pickle chips. The introductory price of the new sandwich is only $1.99.

Demand by customers moved Church’s Southern Style Chicken Sandwich to the front of the company’s robust new product pipeline with more than a year invested in rigorous testing.

Leveraging Franchisee Diversity

Quick serves could be poised to step up their franchising efforts as soon as the credit market thaws and while available real estate remains cheap. Some experts say that minority-franchisee recruitment will be a particular area of focus, as franchisors pursue the value minorities bring to customer relations, new product innovation, and new markets.

Fill Your Portfolio with Brands that Last

After an abundance of successful business ventures, David Lobel founded Sentinel Capital Partners, a private equity firm that specializes in buying and building middle-market companies in the U.S. and Canada. Along with other prosperous investments, Lobel and senior partner and cofounder John McCormack have made their mark in the quick-serve industry. With past investments touching brands like Taco Bell and Church’s Chicken, Sentinel and portfolio company Southern California Pizza own 224 Pizza Hut restaurants in the Los Angeles area—the third-largest franchisee in the Pizza Hut system.

Mini Sandwich Packs Big Value

Church’s Chicken launched a new portable value product for lunch, dinner, and snacking yesterday – its new Chicken Mini Sandwich.

“Today more than ever, our customers are looking for value without sacrificing great quality products,” says Marc Butler, senior vice president of marketing for Church’s Chicken. “We knew after testing this sandwich in local markets, this product had all the right components to meet the needs of our customers.”

2010 in Review

Reporting by Blair Chancey, Sam Oches, Daniel P. Smith, Robin Van Tan, Barney Wolf & Lori Zanteson

1. BK Sold to Brazilian Investors

Becoming the decade’s biggest restaurant buyout, No. 3 burger chain Burger King Corp. was acquired by 3G Capital, a New York firm backed by Brazilian investors, for $3.3 billion in September. —BC

2. The Food Truck Obsession