Church's Chicken

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Church's Chicken
Church's Chicken (in North America)
Texas Chicken (outside North America)
FoundedApril 17, 1952; 66 years ago (1952-04-17) in San Antonio, Texas
FounderGeorge W. Church Sr.
HeadquartersAtlanta, Georgia, United States
Number of locations
Area served
North America, South America, Asia, Europe
Key people
Joe Christina, CEO
ProductsFast food, including fried chicken, french fries, and biscuits
OwnerFriedman Fleischer & Lowe

Church's Chicken is an American 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 more than 1,700 locations in 25 countries, is the fourth largest chicken restaurant chain behind KFC, Popeyes, and Chick-fil-A, and fourth by revenue behind Chick-fil-A, KFC, and Popeyes.[2][3]


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.[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 1989, when it merged with Popeyes.[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 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][7]

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-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.[8]

Texas Chicken In Tbilisi

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]

To date, Church's Chicken has over 1,660 locations in 30 countries.[11] There are locations in Bahrain, Belarus, Bulgaria, Curaçao, Egypt, Georgia (Tbilisi), Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos (Vientiane), Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Russia, St. Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Syria, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

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. ^ "Company Fact Sheet". Chick-fil-A.
  4. ^ "Church's Chicken History". 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". 2003-12-16. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
  7. ^ Janet, Levy (2008-05-02). "Outlawing the Pig". Archived from the original on 2008-12-06. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ Gramig, Mickey H. (November 2006). "White Castle, Church's Chicken to Share Restaurant Sites". Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
  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". Retrieved 2014-07-17.

External links[edit]