After months of speculation, and just in time to ride the wave of fried chicken that is slowly taking over our culinary landscape, Burger King parent company Restaurant Brands International announced today that it’s acquiring Popeyes for $1.8 billion.
Restaurant Brands, with $24 billion in system-wide sales and over 20,000 restaurants, will add 2,688 Popeyes restaurants to the company’s portfolio of companies with the new Popeye’s acquisition.
Daniel Schwartz, Chief Executive Officer of RBI, said in a statement:
“Popeyes is a powerful brand with a rich Louisiana heritage that resonates with guests around the world. With this transaction, RBI is adding a brand that has a distinctive position within a compelling segment and strong U.S. and international prospects for growth. As Popeyes becomes part of the RBI family we believe we can deliver growth and opportunities for all of our stakeholders including our valued employees and franchisees. We look forward to taking an already very strong brand and accelerating its pace of growth and opening new restaurants in the U.S. and around the world.”
We’re not sure how to feel about this. When you can find a Popeye’s that isn’t in a part of town that feels like the victim of one long, ongoing armed robbery, their chicken (and particularly their accompanying creative, tasty sauces) are pretty amazing.
Will Popeye’s inclusion in the RBI family of companies inject cash into the chain, allowing for expansions outside of quasi-abandoned highway rest stops in the middle of nowhere? Or will the overall uninspired mediocrity of Burger King slowly rub off on the Louisiana Kitchen chain, as existing stores circle the drain in a flood of expired Mardi Gras Mustard™ sauce?
We’ll be watching.