Church's Chicken

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Church's Chicken
Industry Food
Founded 17 April 1952; 65 years ago (1952-04-17)
Founder George W. Church, Sr.
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Number of locations
Key people
Jim Hyatt, CEO
Products Fast food, including fried chicken, french fries, and biscuits
Owner Friedman Fleischer & Lowe

Church's Chicken is an American chain of fast food restaurants specializing in fried chicken, also trading outside North America and Asia 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 more than 1,700 locations in 25 countries, is the third-largest chicken restaurant chain behind KFC and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.[2]


A Church's Chicken in Detroit.

Initially, the restaurant only sold chicken, but added fries and jalapeños in 1955.[2] 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.[3]

From 1979 through 1986, Church's Chicken sponsored the "Grand Prix" series of chess tournaments under the auspices of the United States Chess Federation.[4]

Rapid growth followed, and Church's became the second-largest chicken restaurant chain in 1989, when it merged with Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits.[2] 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.[5][6] 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 Puerto Rico and Canada.

Texas Chicken In Tbilisi

On August 10, 2009, San Francisco private equity firm Friedman Fleischer & Lowe bought Church's Chicken from Arcapita.[7]

In some areas, Church's is co-franchised with the White Castle hamburger chain.[8] In Canada, Church's Chicken items were once available in Harvey's restaurants, but the co-venture was discontinued.[9]

To date, Church's Chicken has over 1,660 locations in 30 countries.[10] There are locations in Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, Curaçao, Egypt, Georgia (Tbilisi), Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos (Vientiane), Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, Russia, St. Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Syria, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Vietnam, and Puerto Rico.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Texas Chicken enters India with its first outlet in Hyderabad". Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "History of Church's Chicken". Archived from the original on 2008-10-26.  at official website
  3. ^ "Church's Chicken History". Retrieved July 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ "US Chess Federation". Retrieved December 31, 2014. 
  5. ^ "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. 
  6. ^ Janet, Levy (2008-05-02). "Outlawing the Pig". Archived from the original on 2008-12-06. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  7. ^ "Church's Chicken sold to private equity firm". San Antonio Business Journal. American City Business Journals. 10 August 2009. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2016. 
  8. ^ Gramig, Mickey H. (November 2006). "White Castle, Church's Chicken to Share Restaurant Sites". Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  9. ^ Lorinc, John (1995). Opportunity knocks: the truth about Canada's franchise industry. Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-455693-3. Retrieved July 17, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Church's Chicken". Retrieved 2014-07-17. 

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