Skip Navigation

Celebrating 45 Years Of

Forty-five years ago in New Orleans, Louisiana, a taste sensation was born. What began with one small restaurant and one big idea turned into a craze that swept the nation—and the world.

  • 1972

    Alvin C. Copeland Sr., opens “Chicken on the Run” in the New Orleans suburb of Arabi, serving traditional Southern-fried chicken.

    After several months of lackluster performance, he reopens the restaurant as “Popeyes” (after Popeye Doyle of The French Connection). This time he sells spicy, New Orleans-style chicken.

  • 1976

    Popeyes opens first franchise restaurant in Louisiana.

  • 1980

    Popeyes introduces its “Love That Chicken” from Popeyes tagline.

  • 1983

    Popeyes introduces buttermilk biscuits, which later became a significant menu item.

  • 1984

    Popeyes goes global and expands to Toronto, Canada.

  • 1985

    Popeyes opens its 500th restaurant in Landover, Maryland, putting the brand on equal footing with national competitors.

    Popeyes becomes the number-three quick-service chicken chain based on number of units.

  • 1989

    Popeyes introduces crawfish as a limited-time offer in the United States.

  • 1991

    Popeyes expands its international presence in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

  • 1992

    America’s Favorite Chicken Company (also known as AFC Enterprises, Inc.) is formed and purchases both Popeyes and Church’s Chicken®.

  • 1993

    Popeyes enters a new era of growth as PLK begins updating the look of Popeyes restaurants.

  • 1997

    Popeyes celebrates 25 years of success.

  • 1999

    Popeyes surpasses one billion-dollar annual sales mark for the first time.

    Popeyes receives MenuMasters Award for Louisiana Legends for its rice dishes.

  • 2001

    Popeyes becomes the number-two quick-service chicken chain based on number of units.

    Popeyes celebrates new heritage-designed restaurants in Atlanta, GA.

  • 2002

    Popeyes celebrates its 30-year anniversary.

  • 2008

    Popeyes launches the BONAFIDE® brand positioning.

    The Popeyes brand reinvents itself as Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen based on its long-standing roots in Louisiana-inspired home cooking. This includes a new logo, distinctive new products and a new advertising campaign touting “LOUISIANA Fast.”

  • 2009

    Popeyes launches Butterfly Shrimp Tackle Box.

    Popeyes introduces feisty spokesperson Annie on national television to tell it like it is.

    Popeyes launches first Popeyes Payday.

  • 2010

    Popeyes introduces Wicked Chicken and Cane Sweeeet Iced Tea™.

    Wicked Chicken wins MenuMasters Award for Best Limited-time Offer.

    Popeyes BONAFIDE® Chicken beats KFC® Original Recipe® in National Taste Test.

  • 2011

    Popeyes opens 2,000th restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee.

    Popeyes launches non-breaded chicken tenders called Louisiana Leaux™ with flash mob in French Quarter. This item is now known as “Blackened Tenders.”

    Popeyes introduces Rip’n Chick’n.

    Popeyes introduces Dip’n Chick’n.

    The Popeyes Foundation, Inc. announces partnership to benefit the ProStart® program to develop the next generation of food-zealot restaurateurs.

  • 2012

    Popeyes celebrates 40th anniversary and announces plans for system-wide remodeling of its restaurants.

    Popeyes partners with a Louisiana iconic brand to launch Zatarain's Butterfly Shrimp.

    Popeyes and Coca-Cola® “wrap” up 2012 with three unique, custom, one-of-a-kind holiday designer collector cups.

  • 2013

    Popeyes introduces the Cajun Surf & Turf. A twist on the traditional Surf & Turf, done the Popeyes way!

    Popeyes debuts Chicken Waffle Tenders.

    Popeyes announces Love That Chicken Month in September for National Fried Chicken Month.

    The Popeyes and Coca-Cola® holiday cups return with three new custom designs.

  • 2014

    Popeyes debuts its Beer Can Chicken.

    Popeyes introduces the $5 BONAFIDE® Big Box.

    Popeyes returns its beloved Chicken Waffle Tenders.

    Popeyes becomes title sponsor of the Inaugural Bahamas Bowl.

  • 2015

    Popeyes presents its Red Stick Chicken.

    The Inaugural Popeyes Bahamas Bowl gets nominated for Best Play at the 2015 ESPY Awards. Popeyes hosts its second annual Bahamas Bowl.