Church's Chicken

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Church's Chicken
Industry Food
Founded April 17, 1952
Headquarters Sandy Springs, Georgia, United States
Number of locations
Key people
George W. Church, Founder
Jim Hyatt, CEO
Products Fast food, including fried chicken, french fries, and biscuits
Owner Friedman Fleischer & Lowe

Church's Chicken is a U.S.-based chain of fast food restaurants specializing in fried chicken, also trading outside North America as Texas Chicken.[1] 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. The company, with its headquarters in Sandy Springs, Georgia,[2][3] is the fourth-largest chicken restaurant chain behind KFC, Chick-fil-A, and former sister chain Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits.[4]


Church's Chicken Detroit

Initially, the restaurant only sold chicken, but added fries and jalapeños in 1955.[4] 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.[5]

From 1979 through 1986, Church's Chicken sponsored the "Grand Prix" series of chess tournaments under the auspices of the United States Chess Federation.[6]

Rapid growth followed, and Church's became the second-largest chicken restaurant chain in 1989, when it merged with Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits.[4] 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 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.[7][8] Also, American Church's Chicken restaurants switched beverage products to Coca-Cola (some locations serving Coke products and Dr Pepper), while still retaining the Pepsi contract in Canada.

Texas Chicken In Tbilisi

On August 10, 2009, San Francisco private equity firm Friedman Fleischer & Lowe bought Church's Chicken from Arcapita.[9]

In some areas, Church's is co-franchised with the White Castle hamburger chain.[10] In Canada, Church's Chicken items were once available in Harvey's restaurants, but the co-venture was discontinued.[11]

To date, Church's Chicken has over 1,660 locations in 30 countries.[12] There are locations in Bulgaria, Canada, Curaçao, Egypt, Georgia (Tbilisi), Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, St. Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Syria, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Vietnam and Puerto Rico.

The menu for Church's has expanded to include fried okra, cole slaw, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and honey butter biscuits. Also, newer entree choices have emerged, including, sandwiches, nuggets, tacos and a spicy flavor option for the chicken.[13]

In early June 2015, Texas Chicken came under flak in Malaysia when one of the customers complained about the food coming from Church, referring to the brand name Texas/Church Chicken. As Muslims are known to consume halal food, any food which is non-halal is deemed inappropriate for Muslim consumption. [14] Upon clarification from Texas Chicken that the name Church is not related to religion, but rather is the name of the founder, the issue was put to rest. [15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Texas Chicken enters India with its first outlet in Hyderabad". Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "Grand Opening!" Church's Chicken. Retrieved on February 23, 2010.
  3. ^ "City Council Districts." City of Sandy Springs. Retrieved on July 4, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c "History of Church's Chicken".  at official website
  5. ^ "Church's Chicken History". Retrieved July 17, 2014. 
  6. ^ "US Chess Federation". Retrieved December 31, 2014. 
  7. ^ "AFC Enterprises Inc., franchisor of Popeyes, Church's Chicken; and Cinnabon, reports improved results for the fourth quarter". 2003-12-16. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  8. ^ Janet, Levy (2008-05-02). "Outlawing the Pig". Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  9. ^ Antonio, San (2009-08-10). "Church's Chicken sold to private equity firm". Retrieved 2009-08-19. [dead link]
  10. ^ Gramig, Mickey H. (November 2006). "White Castle, Church's Chicken to Share Restaurant Sites". Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. Retrieved 2009-02-03. [dead link]
  11. ^ Lorinc, John (1995). Opportunity knocks: the truth about Canada's franchise industry. Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-455693-3. Retrieved July 17, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Church's Chicken". Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  13. ^ "Church's Chicken". Retrieved 2014-12-31. 
  14. ^
  15. ^

External links[edit]