More fish in the sea for Popeyes
by Monica Watrous
ATLANTA — Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is going fishin’. The fast-food chain may be better known for its bone-in chicken, but building a stronger seafood platform has become a strategic priority for the company.
“With the launch of our digital menu boards across our system, we freshened our menu with the same strategic intent that we have had for the last few years of building our boneless chicken and seafood products,” said Cheryl Bachelder, CEO, during an Aug. 21 call with analysts to discuss third-quarter earnings. “That platform has been an important driver of our growth, and we expect it will continue to be. We are the only brand with, we believe, the credibility to sell fabulous seafood in addition to our well-known famous advantage for chicken.”
The chain this year added Cajun fish to the core menu and last quarter launched for a limited time cracked pepper shrimp with blackened tartar dipping sauce. Popcorn shrimp, butterfly shrimp, and seafood po’boy sandwiches also are on the menu.
|Waffle-battered chicken tenders are among several featured offerings within Popeyes' boneless chicken platform.
Additionally, Popeyes is focused on expanding its boneless chicken offerings with such items as waffle-battered chicken tenders with honey maple dipping sauce and chicken tenderloins with Cajun creamy garlic dipping sauce.
“As you saw in both the menu with Cajun fish and then in our promotion plan with cracked pepper shrimp, [seafood] is a segment of our business that is adding customers, adding variety to our menu choices,” Bachelder said. “So, that has been our strategy and will continue to be, to grow the boneless and seafood segment.”
During the quarter, Popeyes achieved a system-wide sales increase of 9.5 percent and a global same-store sales increase of 3.6 percent. The company has gained market share in the quick-serve chicken category with 23.1 percent during the second quarter, up from 20.5 percent last year.
“This market share gain underscores the fact that Popeyes is a rapidly growing brand, relative to its peer group,” Bachelder said.
For the second quarter ended July 13, Popeyes had net income of $8.3 million, equal to 36 cents per share on the common stock, down 2.4 percent from $8.5 million, or 36 cents per share, in the prior-year period.
Revenues totaled $53.7 million, up 12 percent from $47.9 million.