Popeyes on Tuesday announced a new partnership with the National Urban League, a non-profit organization dedicated to economic empowerment, equality, and social justice for African Americans and others in underserved communities. Popeyes is teaming up with the National Urban League to further continue its commitment to bettering diversity across its franchising ecosystem. The partnership will allow Popeyes to leverage the National Urban League’s vast network of affiliate partners that serve 300 communities to identify and onboard new, diverse franchisees and operators to join the Popeyes family.

As one of the fastest growing quick-service restaurant brands, Popeyes continues to expand its footprint. Since Restaurant Brands International, which also directs Firehouse Subs, Burger King, and Tim Hortons, acquired the chicken chain in 2017, more than 650 net new units have been added in the U.S. and nearly 400 around the world. In North America, most openings in 2022 have been freestanding single or double drive-thru locations, which deliver results above the system average. The chain completed Q3 with 3,928 stores, including 2,858 in the U.S. and 1,070 internationally. Popeyes in on pace for a record development year, thanks to strength in North America, Turkey, Spain, India, U.K., and Brazil.

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Popeyes same-store sales grew 1.3 percent in the U.S. in Q3. International comps sales lifted 16.4 percent, lapping a 14.8 percent increase in the previous year. 

While Popeyes has a long waiting list of potential franchisees to join this growth, the brand is looking to recruit best-in-class, diverse operators to join the family and help take the brand to the next level as it continues to develop and grow nationwide.

To make the process easy and accessible, the National Urban League will work in conjunction with Popeyes to create a partnership page on its website where candidates can apply to become a part of Popeyes growing family through an in-depth questionnaire and response form. The National Urban League will vet applicants and connect prospects with the Popeyes team for further engagement, education, and the possibility to become a Popeyes franchise owner and operator. The first phase of the initiative will see the National Urban League inviting individuals from within its network to learn more about this opportunity and submit materials for review by the Popeyes team.

“As a brand born in New Orleans, a city that defines the term melting pot with its array of blended cultures and diversity, Popeyes values working with business partners that represent the different backgrounds that the brand represents,” says Sami Siddiqui, president of Popeyes North America. “The trajectory of Popeyes growth requires hands-on, world class operators and we’re thrilled to partner with the National Urban League to find the perfect matches to join our growing family.”

“With franchises representing more than 10 percent of the small businesses in the country, it’s absolutely vital that this avenue of opportunity be expanded to include more operators of color,” adds National Urban League president Marc H. Morial. “We’re proud to work with Popeyes, which recognizes that diversity, equity, and inclusion are integral to the strength and sustainability of any enterprise. We look forward to working together to help launch new careers and build small businesses that are the lifeblood of their communities.”

Fast Food, Franchising, News, Popeyes