Learn About Popeye's Chicken
Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits is a taste sensation redolent with the spices and flavors of the Louisiana Bayou. Louisiana is known for its passion for real down home cooking and traditions are seldom changed. An eighteen-year-old boy was the first to incorporate Louisiana Cajun spices into a chicken recipe for a fast food restaurant and the rest is culinary history.
As a young man, Al Copeland was a high-school dropout working as a soda jerk to help his mother makes ends meet. Then he went to work for his older brother who managed a string of doughnut shops. Following in his brother’s footsteps, Copeland soon owned his first doughnut shop franchise at the tender age of eighteen. However, when Kentucky Fried Chicken opened in New Orleans in 1971, Copeland decided to abandon the doughnut shop and enter into the chicken fast food market. His first store, Chicken on the Run, was a dismal failure. Its mild recipe for the chicken coating failed to inspire repeat customers. Copeland realized he needed a change and began to experiment with other spice recipes. Only after the advent of a spicier Cajun recipe did the business revitalize and the restaurant begin to make a profit.
History of Popeye's
As a nod to Gene Hackman’s character Popeye Doyle in The French Connection, Copeland changed the name of his chicken fast food chain to Popeyes Mighty Good Fried Chicken. Nevertheless, people insisted on equating the name with Popeye the Sailor Man and Popeyes later entered into a successful merchandising campaign featuring the famous cartoon sailor.
By 1978, the second Popeyes opened in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Copeland began selling franchises for Popeyes. By the early 1980s, the chain was second only to Kentucky Fried Chicken as the country’s largest chicken fast food chains.
Al Copeland believed that the best way to expand his empire was through acquisitions and he began to cast his net around for other companies he could bid on successfully. Church’s Fried Chicken caught his eye and by 1988, he was trying to luring away top Church’s executives to help fill corporate roles in his own organization. Based on alleged confidential information leaked from these executives, who now worked for him, Copeland was ready to make a bid for Church’s Fried Chicken. Copeland planned to buy Church’s faltering chain of restaurants, close down unprofitable locations and sell the remaining locations to Popeyes franchisees. This plan would leave a chain of 600 to 800 Church’s stores for conversion to Popeyes and the money earned from the sale of the closed locations could be used to offset the costs. Copeland proposed a buy price of $8 per share for a total cost of $340 million.
However, Church’s had recently brought in Ernie Renaud, the former CEO of Long John Silver’s and he was turning around the previously dismal sales and infusing the company with new life. Due to Renaud’s tremendous progress in turning Church’s around, Copeland was forced to pay a $480 million dollar price tag. The resulting efforts of merging Church’s more down home style of fried chicken with Popeyes more upscale version proved to be like mixing oil and water. Customers loyal to Church’s chicken recipe where unwilling to spend their money for the Popeyes style of cooking and Copeland fueled a faster downward spiral by asking ridiculously high prices for the Church’s locations from his franchisees. Add in a higher cost for a reformulated marinade as well as creating an ad fund charge for the franchises and Copeland found he was unable to sell off the units as planned.
By 1991, Copeland was forced into bankruptcy, the court approved the efforts to restructure the company, and America’s Favorite Chicken Company, Inc. was born. The parent company once again put Church’s and Popeyes into separate categories and Frank J. Belatti, former CEO of Arby’s Inc., was brought onboard to steer the company into prosperity.
Locations & Coupons
Today, there are over 1800 Popeyes restaurants spread out across 40 states and 21 countries. The Cajun-inspired recipe of the original Popeyes is still used at present in these upscale fast-food chicken outlets. The menu features the famous Popeyes chicken, fried shrimp, Cajun battered fries, a classic red beans and rice dish, creamy coleslaw and fabulous biscuits. Popeyes is also proud to feature the traditional sweet tea of the deep south.
Coupons for Popeyes Mighty Good Fried Chicken are available in many locations. While some of the coupons sites offer valid Popeyes coupons, the best place to go is Popeyes own website. Consumers enter in their zip codes and area specific coupons are displayed on the screen. These exclusive coupons for in-store purchases are printable from a consumer’s home computer.
Typically, Popeye's coupons offers either 10 percent discounts on meal deals or frequently a two for one meal price. Visitors to Popeyes website can also choose to join the Bonafide Krewe, a rewards club whose members receive special coupons, discounts, text alerts and newsletters for the chain. Additionally, consumers looking for Popeyes coupons should check door-to-door flyers as well as in local newspapers.