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Industry Updates

These Two Chicken Chains Have Something to Bawk About

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Sometimes a best practice is a best product, as in Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen’s case.

Chick-fil-A and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen have earned the right to count their chickens. Both chicken chains experienced double-digit system sales in Technomic’s recent Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report.

Miami-based Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, thanks to the success of its new chicken sandwich, saw 18.3 percent growth in system sales in 2019 for a total of $600 million. It is ranked No. 19 in the Top 500.

At Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, system sales rose 13 percent in 2019 to $11.3 billion — an increase of $1.3 billion — which propelled Chick-fil-A to the No. 3 ranking.

Chick-fil-A’s ranking is even more impressive considering it only has 2,470 U.S. stores. Taco Bell and Burger king, ranked fourth and fifth on the list, have more than double the amount of stores than Chick-fil-A but less sales.

McDonald’s is first on the list with $40.4 billion in sales and Starbucks is second with about $21.4 billion.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Chick-fil-A have garnered excellent reputations for their chicken sandwiches. Popeyes’ version has spurred the company’s overall sales since it debuted last year. The sandwich features a buttermilk-battered and breaded white meat filet that’s topped with pickles and a choice of mayo or a spicy Cajun spread and served on a toasted brioche bun. Popeyes called the sandwich its biggest product launch in the last 30 years.

Chick-fil-A’s sandwich is one of its top-selling items.

Both sandwiches are often found in the top five (or top two) of “best chicken sandwich” polls, such as this one.

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