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- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#2 Ranked #3 last year
- Initial investment
$384K - $3.5M
- Units as of 2022
3,851 21.6% over 3 years
Start a Popeyes Franchise | Costs and Requirements
If you have dreams of owning your own business and “love that chicken” from Popeyes, opening your own Popeyes franchise could be the perfect combination. Here’s what you need to know about becoming a Popeyes franchise owner.
Popeyes specializes in delicious and unforgettable fried chicken. They are committed to tasty, affordable, and fast meals. Known for its New Orleans-style fried chicken, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen delivers excellent flavors at an appealing price.
As one of the top fast-food franchises in the U.S., Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen makes it a point to offer delicious fast food to keep people coming back for more.
Originally named Chicken on the Run, Al Copeland founded the establishment in 1972. When it first opened, Chicken on the Run served traditional Southern fried chicken.
However, after a lack of popularity and success, Copeland decided to rebrand the concept. When he reopened the restaurant, he changed the name to Popeyes and started selling spicy, New Orleans-style fried chicken.
The first Popeyes franchise location opened four years later, and the company never looked back. Popeyes has grown its brand, menu, and reach to international locations through the decades.
In 2008, Popeyes underwent another rebrand to change its name to Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen as a nod back to its southern roots. As Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, it remains one of the leading fried chicken and fast-food restaurant chains in the United States.
Today, Popeyes has over 3,000 restaurant franchises across the U.S. and 30 countries worldwide.
Why You May Want To Start a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Franchise
If you love fried chicken, opening a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen franchise might be for you.
Popeyes is one of the world's most successful QSRs (quick-service restaurants) in the United States, a country well-known for its fast-food businesses.
In fact, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is one of the U.S.’s most popular fast-food chains from New York to Texas to Florida. It is also popular outside of the United States, with over 600 franchises internationally and more than 200 in Canada alone.
What Might Make a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Franchise a Good Choice?
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is committed to continued growth, and they are actively seeking eager Popeyes franchisees. Their marketing continues to stay on the cutting edge, so you know your restaurant will remain a force to be reckoned with in the fast food industry.
Remember, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen started as a mom-and-pop shop before it exploded into what it is today. That happened through hard work and entrepreneurial spirit. They love experienced business owners who know how to navigate the QSR space and are ready to take on the challenge and continue growing the Popeyes' name. However, you don’t need any experience to start a location — Popeyes is happy to help you grow as a business owner.
Related: Considering franchise ownership? Get started now and take this quiz to find your personalized list of franchises that match your lifestyle, interests and budget.
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen has a broad reach and decades of experience. You may own as many Popeyes franchise businesses as you like, with guaranteed support for each one.
If you enter this journey with Popeyes, they are dedicated to supporting you through ownership, development, and operations. Their top-notch marketing, food, and customer services can bring significant business to your franchise.
Brand Name Recognition
With Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen’s worldwide reach, your new business will automatically have the enormous advantage of increased visibility and customer interest.
People will know Popeyes’ brand name, making it easier to immediately establish a steady flow of customers than if you started from scratch.
Related: The 10 Commandments of Franchise Ownership
How Do You Open a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Franchise?
Are you ready for a step-by-step on how to open your own Popeyes restaurant franchise? Keep reading to discover the process.
1. Online Application
To begin the process, you’ll have to fill out some basic personal information and preliminary background questions.
2. Initial Phone Call
After your online application is reviewed, a Popeyes team member will contact you to conduct a phone call. This conversation often includes questions about your background in the QSR, franchise or business industry and your aspirations as a new franchise owner.
The ideal franchisee has a passion for food and experience in business or multi-unit restaurant operations. Popeyes looks for results-focused self-starters committed to growing themselves and the brand.
3. Application Review
Once you’re past the phone call, Popeyes will review all the details they need to know, including experience, finances, background checks, credit checks, legal documents, and your business plan.
Your business plan should include the following:
- Executive summary of business.
- Market and target audience analysis.
- Logistics and operations.
- Financial details.
Related: How To Write A Business Plan
Before making any financial commitment or signing an agreement, you should perform your due diligence and establish if this is the right franchise opportunity. You also need to ensure you can fulfill Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen’s financial requirements.
The most important figures to note are:
- Liquid assets: $500,000 minimum.
- Net worth: $1,000,000 minimum.
Although Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen doesn’t readily offer other direct information about its franchising process, you can ask to learn more about its brand, fees, and financing when you submit a franchise request form.
To be part of the Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen team, you should ensure you’re financially ready for the primary investment of an initial franchise fee and other startup costs. You should also prepare yourself for ongoing fees, which will include advertising fees, royalty fees, and renewal fees.
4. Leadership Team Interview
During this step, you will meet in person with members of the Popeyes leadership team. You will be able to learn from someone who knows the ins and outs of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. Come ready to learn and with some prepared questions. This is a great way to soak up knowledge and make connections.
5. Final Approval
Once you’ve been approved to own a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen franchise, it’s time to get to work. Complete your final checks of the franchise disclosure document (FDD), obtain your business license, finalize your franchise agreement, and get to work.
After accepting your franchise application, expect to undergo the Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen training program. If this is your first franchise, a minimum of five employees may also have to undergo the training. The initial training program might be intensive and may last longer than ten weeks, including various business and leadership modules. After you open your Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen franchise, you might plan for ongoing training and refresher courses for both you and your team.
Site Selection Process
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is actively looking to expand all over the U.S. and Canada. They will work with you to find the perfect space to open your new location. Make sure you research and explore locales to find the best one for your business.
You should also conduct market research to see how your community will respond to Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. Additionally, ensure the real estate inventory supports your business.
Other factors to consider are:
- Proximity to highways or busy streets.
- Foot traffic.
- Demands of the community.
- Proximity to competitor restaurants (KFC, Chick-Fil-A, McDonald’s).
- The convenience of access to the store and its parking lot.
Let's Get Cooking
As a franchisor, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is relentless in its pursuit of growing its brand and working with driven franchisees who can uphold the “Louisiana Fast” legacy.
The New Orleans fried chicken, spicy chicken sandwich, and other signature Cajun on the Popeyes menu items are a surefire way to keep customers walking through your doors.
If you’ve got the capital and commitment, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen could be the perfect new business venture for you.
Looking for more info on franchising and starting a business? Explore Entrepreneur’s Franchise Center here.
About Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
- Franchising Since
- 1976 (47 years)
- # of employees at HQ
- Where seeking
This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.
This company is offering new franchisees worldwide.
- # of Units
- 3,851 (as of 2022)
Information for Franchisees
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen franchise.
Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees
Here’s what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.
- Initial Franchise Fee
Definition: The initial fee paid to a franchisor to join their system
What you need to know: Found in Item 5 of the FDD, this may be a flat fee, or may vary based on territory size, experience, or other factors.The franchise fee is an up-front (one-time) cost that a new franchisee pays to the franchisor. This fee is usually due at the signing of the franchise agreement and covers the right to use the franchisor's trademarks, name, and related business systems.
- Initial Investment
- $383,500 - $3,545,800
Definition: The total amount necessary to begin operation of the franchise
What you need to know: The initial investment includes the franchise fee, along with other startup expenses such as real estate, equipment, supplies, business licenses, and working capital. This is outlined in a chart in Item 7 of the FDD, showing a range of possible costs from low to high.
- Net Worth Requirement
Definition: The minimum net worth you must have in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company
What you need to know: Net worth is the value of a person's assets minus liabilities. Assets include cash, stocks, retirement accounts, and real estate. Liabilities include items like mortgages, car payments, and credit card debt.
- Cash Requirement
Definition: The minimum liquid capital you must have available in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company.
- Veteran Incentives
- $22,500 off franchise fee; reduced royalty fee for first six months
Definition: A discount or other incentive offered to military veterans who buy a franchise with this company.
- Royalty Fee
Definition: A ongoing fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis.
What you need to know: Most franchisors require franchisees to pay an ongoing royalty fee, which is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD. This fee is typically a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales, but may also be a flat weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Ad Royalty Fee
Definition: An going fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis to support advertising or marketing efforts.
What you need to know: This may also be called advertising fee, marketing fee, brand fund fee, and more, but the basic purpose is the same-- to support promotion of the brand systemwide. As with the royalty fee, it is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD, and can be a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales or a weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Term of Agreement
- 20 years
Definition: The length of time your franchise agreement will last.
What you need to know: Franchise terms are typically anywhere from 5 to 20 years in length, but are sometimes instead dependent on factors such as the term of your lease. Once your term is up, you may have the option to renew your agreement, typically for a smaller fee than the original franchise fee.
- Is franchise term renewable?
Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.
- In-House Financing
- Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen offers in-house financing to cover the following: franchise fee
- Third Party Financing
- Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll
Training & Support Offered
Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.
- On-The-Job Training
- 120 hours
- Ongoing Support
Purchasing Co-opsNewsletterMeetings & ConventionsToll-Free LineGrand OpeningSecurity & Safety ProceduresField OperationsSite SelectionProprietary SoftwareFranchisee Intranet Platform
- Marketing Support
Co-op AdvertisingAd TemplatesNational MediaRegional AdvertisingSocial MediaSEOWebsite DevelopmentEmail MarketingLoyalty Program/App
Additional details about running this franchise.
- Is absentee ownership allowed?
Definition: Absentee ownership means that the franchisee does not actively work in the franchise business or manage day-to-day operations.
- Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Definition: The business can be run from your home and/or a vehicle, and it is not necessary to have a retail facility, office space, or warehouse.
- Can this franchise be run part time?
Definition: This business can be run by the owner on a part-time basis (less than 40 hours per week) and/or as a side business; it is not necessary for the business to be open/run full-time.
- # of employees required to run
- Are exclusive territories available?
Definition: An exclusive territory is a fixed area in which you are given the right to operate and in which no other units of the same franchise may be opened.
What you need to know: Territory size may be based on factors such as radius, population size, zip codes, and more. Details can be found in Item 12 of the FDD.
Interested in ownership opportunities like Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
Ranked #2 in 2023
Franchise 500 Ranking
Ranked #16 in 2022
Ranked #15 in 2022
Top Global Franchises
Ranked #9 in 2022
Fastest-Growing Franchises (U.S. & Canada)
Ranked #1 in Chicken in 2021
Best of the Best
Ranked #1 in Chicken in 2022
Top Food Franchises
Ranked #1 in 2023
#1 in Chicken Category
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