Popeyes

Top 3 Trends from Biggest Q3 Calls

Quick-serve companies wrapped up their quarter earnings calls and investor meetings earlier this month, paving the way for the final fiscal term of 2011 (or, in Starbucks’ case, the beginning of fiscal 2012).

Here are a few things to learn about the industry from the results.

1. Premium menu items are the name of the game. Though customers have clamored for value-driven items throughout the recession, quick-serve companies are turning to higher-quality fare to appeal to frugal-fatigued consumers.

Be Prepared

In late August, Hurricane Irene was churning in the Atlantic Ocean. Having already pummeled Puerto Rico, the powerful storm turned toward the U.S. East Coast, threatening much of the Mid-Atlantic region and keeping meteorologists guessing as to where exactly it might make landfall.

But Irene scared more than just weathermen and beach vacationers; quick-serve executives were also keeping a close eye on the storm’s path to gauge which of their stores could be impacted, and how much of a disruption it would create in their supply chains.

Forget the McRib; Popeyes' Crawfish LTO is Also Back

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen kicked off its third-annual Crawfish Festival last week, a campaign that one company executive likens to McDonald’s McRib LTO in its buzz and popularity.

Dick Lynch, chief marketing officer for Popeyes, says the Crawfish Festival—which is not a festival in the true sense but rather a menu and marketing limited-time offer—is as quintessential Louisiana as the brand comes.

Popeyes Gets Fishy With Return of Crawfish Festival

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen gets festive this fall with the return of its Louisiana-inspired Annual Crawfish Festival, going three years strong. To celebrate, Popeyes is cooking up a myriad of Crawfish offerings, including its Crawfish Tackle Box with Creamy Horseradish Sauce, Cajun Fries, and a biscuit for just $4.99. This tasty crustacean will only be available Oct. 24-Nov. 27.

Creating New Menu Classics

It’s the type of food that makes us think of home, mom’s cooking, and simpler times. To many, the tastes and smells evoke warmth, good memories, and inner peace.

In short, comfort.

Every nation and culture seems to have its own version of comfort food, from Mexican enchiladas to Chinese stir-fried tomatoes and eggs to French coq au vin.

In the U.S., however, we think more along the lines of meatloaf, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and chocolate brownies.

Brand Transformation Scores Popeyes Big Honor

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, a division of AFC Enterprises Inc., will be featured as one of the 15 most relevant and successful brand refreshes in the past few years at the Graphic Design Now: In Production exhibition opening October 22 at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

In 2008, Popeyes underwent a comprehensive brand transformation to emphasize its distinctive Louisiana heritage. As part of this initiative, Austin, Texas–based Pentagram Design was charged with the transition to a more contemporary logo and visual brand identity.

Popeyes Dip’N Chick’n Scores Big with Fans Online

Recently, Popeyes launched its fourth limited-time offer of 2012—Popeyes new Dip’n Chick’n. Popeyes double dipped into fun with its “Dip’n for free Chick’n” sweepstakes to increase awareness for the product and bring the dipping experience online. To play, Popeyes fans move the new Blackened Ranch Dipping Sauce across the screen to catch the most Dip’n chicken pieces dunking into the sauce.

Fast Food Still Gets the Love on Social Media

Despite the negative headlines that the fast food industry tends to generate, a new report shows that the vast majority of opinions about the industry on social media are positive.

A new study by New York City–based research firm Amplicate, “Public Opinion on Fast Food Chains in the U.S. on Social Media,” shows that 70 percent of all opinions posted about the industry on social media in the last year were positive.

Juan Alvarez, CEO of Amplicate, says his firm used a complex system to gather information across Twitter and Facebook about consumer sentiment.

Go Where the Customers Go: Popeyes Unveils Mobile Site

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen launched a mobile-optimized site to help customers explore its menu on their smartphones and more easily find Popeyes locations.

Karlie Lahm, communications manager for Popeyes, says the new mobile-optimized site is part of a broader digital strategy, which she says aligns with the company’s “four-pillar” strategy of growth (build a distinct, relevant brand; run great restaurants; strengthen unit economics; and ramp up unit growth, according to the company).

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