|Founded||April 17, 1952|
|Founder||George W. Church, Sr.|
|Headquarters||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|
Number of locations
|Joseph Christina, 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. 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.
|This section needs expansion with: More info before 1980s. You can help by adding to it. (January 2014)|
Initially, the restaurant only sold chicken, but added fries and jalapeños in 1955. 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.
Rapid growth followed, and Church's became the second-largest chicken restaurant chain in 1989, when it merged with Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits. 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. 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.
In some areas, Church's is co-franchised with the White Castle hamburger chain. In Canada, Church's Chicken items were once available in Harvey's restaurants, but the co-venture was discontinued.
To date, Church's Chicken has over 1,660 locations in 30 countries. 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, Turkey, 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.
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- Lorinc, John (1995). Opportunity knocks: the truth about Canada's franchise industry. Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-455693-3. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
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