Bower Promoted to President of U.S. at Popeyes

AFC Enterprises Inc., the franchisor and operator of Popeyes restaurants, announced that U.S. chief operating officer Ralph W. Bower has been named president of U.S. at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, the world's second-largest chicken chain based on number of units.

In his new role, Bower will be responsible for leading day-to-day U.S. operations for Popeyes restaurants. He will lead the Popeyes U.S. team in delivering strategic initiatives, ramping up quality unit growth, nurturing franchise relationships, and mining strategic insights to drive business decision making.

Popeyes Gets Wicked With Garlic Pepper

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen brings back Wicked Chicken with a twist this February with all new Garlic Pepper Wicked Chicken.

For a limited time, consumers can experience the flavor spin of Garlic Pepper Wicked Chicken with Cajun fries, a buttermilk biscuit, Garlic Pepper Parmesan Dipping Sauce, and a mini bottle of Tabasco brand Pepper Sauce for only $3.99 now through Feb. 19.

United Capital Lends $42 Million to Popeyes Franchisees

United Capital Business Lending, a national business lender specializing in franchised restaurant finance, announced today that it will allocate $42 million to qualified, multi-unit Popeyes franchisees in 2012.

The Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen chain recently designated United Capital as one of its lending partners for the franchisor’s 2012 reimaging initiative.

The Growth 40

In October, upstart fast-casual burger concept Burger 21 launched its franchise program. Rather than pursuing partners to build the brand across the national landscape, Front Burner Brands, the Tampa-based parent company of Burger 21 and the popular Melting Pot restaurants, identified its first growth market: Orlando.

“Mickey Mouse does wonders,” Burger 21 vice president of franchise development Dan Stone says. “Orlando may not be Times Square in Manhattan, but it’s the equivalent of that in the Southeast.”

Popeyes CMO Lynch Promoted to Chief Global Brand Officer

Convinced that great tasting food requires slow, careful preparation, in 2008 Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, a division of AFC Enterprises Inc., embarked on a comprehensive brand transformation that emphasized its almost four decades of Louisiana-inspired home cooking. The initiative included a more contemporary logo, new brand advertising and tagline, distinctive new products, and a powerful messaging platform.

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.