Church's Chicken

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Church's Chicken
Church's Chicken
(in North and Central America)
Texas Chicken
(outside North America)
Private
IndustryFood
FoundedApril 17, 1952; 68 years ago (1952-04-17) in San Antonio, Texas
FounderGeorge W. Church Sr.
HeadquartersAtlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Number of locations
1,009[1](2017)
858 franchised
151 company operated
Area served
North America, Caribbean, South America, Asia, Europe
Key people
Joseph Christina
(CEO)
Brian Gies
(CMO)
ProductsFast food, including fried chicken, french fries, and biscuits
RevenueIncrease US$ 786 million (2018)
Increase US$ 785.96 million (2017)
[1]
OwnerFriedman Fleischer & Lowe
Websitewww.churchs.com

Church's Chicken is an American chain of fast food restaurants specializing in fried chicken, also trading outside North America as Texas Chicken [2] or Church’s Texas Chicken [2]. The chain was founded as Church's Fried Chicken To Go by George W. Church Sr., on April 17, 1952, in San Antonio, Texas, across the street from The Alamo.

History[edit]

A Church's Chicken in Detroit
The logo used from 2004 to 2019

Initially, the restaurant only sold chicken, but added fries and jalapeños in 1955.[3] The company had four restaurants by the time of Church's death in 1956. In the 1980s, the chain briefly operated a hamburger franchise called G. W. Jrs in Texas.[4]

During the mid 1960s, the Jim Dandy Fried Chicken chain purchased the rights to use the Church's Chicken name where its stores were branded with the Jim Dandy "D" logo.

From 1979 through 1986, Church's Chicken sponsored the "Grand Prix" series of chess tournaments under the auspices of the United States Chess Federation.[5] Rapid expansion followed, and Church's became the second largest chicken restaurant chain in February 1989, when it merged with Popeyes.[3]

The brands had their supply lines consolidated, but were still marketed as separate chains. Hala Moddelmog was appointed as president of Church's Chicken in March 1996, making her the first female president of a fast food restaurant chain.

Church's was owned by AFC Enterprises, along with Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits and Cinnabon, through the end of 2004, when it was sold to Arcapita (formerly Crescent Capital Investments). Because Arcapita is an Islamic venture capital firm, pork products were removed from the menu after the sale (as pork is not halal) in 2005.[6]

Church's Chicken restaurants in the United States also switched beverage products to Coca-Cola (some locations serving Coke products and Dr Pepper), while still retaining the Pepsi-Cola contract in Puerto Rico and Canada.[citation needed] On August 10, 2009, San Francisco private equity firm Friedman Fleischer & Lowe bought Church's Chicken from Arcapita at an estimated value of $390 million, according to Financial Times.[7][8]

In some areas, Church's is co-franchised with the White Castle hamburger chain.[9] In Canada, Church's Chicken items were once available in Harvey's restaurants, but the co-venture was discontinued.[10] In June 2019, it was reported that Friedman Fleischer & Lowe placed the company for sale after years of declining sales and store count numbers.[11]

In February 2008, Church's Chicken entered the UK market under the "Texas Chicken" name, claiming to have signed up 50 former Dixy Chicken franchisees.[12] However, only a small number of restaurants opened, with one in High Road Leytonstone, London, and another in Salford, Greater Manchester.[13] They withdrew from the country a few years later, and the former Texas Chicken location in Leytonstone was replaced with a new independent fried chicken restaurant known as Tex Bites. (Church's in the UK is also the name of an unrelated shoe store chain.)

As of 2017, Church's Chicken had 1,009 locations.[1] There are locations in Bahrain, Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, Curaçao, Egypt, Tbilisi (Georgia), Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Vientiane (Laos), Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Russia, St. Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Syria, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Venezuela and Vietnam.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The QSR 50 Chicken Segment". QSR Magazine. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  2. ^ "Texas Chicken enters India with its first outlet in Hyderabad". prlog.org. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "History of Church's Chicken". Archived from the original on October 26, 2008. at official website
  4. ^ "Church's Chicken History". fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  5. ^ "US Chess Federation". Archived from the original on January 1, 2015. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  6. ^ "AFC Enterprises Inc., franchisor of Popeyes, Church's Chicken, and Cinnabon, reports improved results for the fourth quarter". amonline.com. December 16, 2003. Retrieved February 3, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Church's Chicken sold to private equity firm". San Antonio Business Journal. American City Business Journals. August 10, 2009. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  8. ^ "Private Equity Firm to Seek Sale of Church's Chicken". Bloomberg.com. June 12, 2019. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  9. ^ Gramig, Mickey H. (November 2006). "White Castle, Church's Chicken to Share Restaurant Sites". Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. Retrieved February 3, 2009.
  10. ^ Lorinc, John (1995). Opportunity knocks: the truth about Canada's franchise industry. Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-455693-3. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  11. ^ "Church's Chicken reportedly on the market for $350M". Restaurant Dive. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  12. ^ "Texas Chicken to challenge KFC in UK". The Caterer. February 6, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  13. ^ "Texas Chicken, Salford". Flickr. August 16, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2020.

External links[edit]