Popeyes, a fast-food restaurant specializing in chicken and Cajun-style dishes, is launching its new chicken nuggets across the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Canada on July 27. The chain, which started the so-called “chicken wars” among other fast-food giants like Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s, is shifting its focus to the new product.
Fried chicken sandwiches and chicken nuggets are the typical staples of most U.S. fast-food restaurants, and people often swear loyalty to one chain over another. Retail investors wanting to capitalize on the success of their favorite chicken franchise might wonder if they can buy shares of Popeyes.
Is Popeyes publicly traded?
Popeyes, or Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, debuted in 1972 under founder Al Copeland. Currently, the chain has grown to encompass more than 3,300 restaurants in the U.S. and worldwide.
Investors can't purchase shares of Popeyes stock directly since it isn’t publicly traded on its own. However, the current parent company of Popeyes, Restaurant Brands International, is listed on the NYSE. Investors can buy shares of Restaurant Brands International under the ticker symbol "QSR."
On July 26, 2021, shares of QSR closed at $65.40 on the NYSE. As of 10:19 a.m. ET on July 27, the stock is trading at $64.86 per share. CNN Business reported a “buy” rating from 31 analysts as of July 27. Restaurant Brands International is set to report its second-quarter results for 2021 on July 30.
Restaurant Brands International
Restaurant Brands International Inc. owns three major quick-service restaurant brands—Tim Hortons, Burger King, and Popeyes. It reports approximately $32 billion in annual system-wide sales across its 27,000 restaurants.
Burger King was founded in 1954 and is the home of the iconic “Whopper” sandwich. Tim Hortons started in 1964 in Canada. The chain sells sandwiches as well as a variety of specialty coffees and other beverages.
Restaurant Brands International acquired Popeyes in 2017. Popeyes was founded in New Orleans and offers meal options like chicken tenders, fried shrimp, and other regional food items.
Popeyes' chicken nugget debut
The launch of the new Popeyes chicken nugget is highly anticipated. Taking lessons from its August 2019 launch of the chicken sandwich, which sold out in less than two weeks, Popeyes is prepared for high demand for the new nuggets.
The company is “confident in the changes made with supply, forecasting, and staffing since the chicken sandwich launch,” stated one spokesperson for the company. The chicken nuggets are made with the same flour and buttermilk batter as its fried chicken sandwich and are available in orders of 4–36 nuggets.
Popeyes’ Vice President of Culinary Innovation, Amy Alarcon, said in a company press release, “Our hope is that today guests who can finally try our new Chicken Nuggets will say to themselves: Popeyes® did it again.”
The company’s Chief Marketing Officer Bruno Cardinali humorously referenced the “chicken wars” among Popeyes and other quick-service chicken restaurants. “Now, it’s time to say goodbye to the chicken wars and celebrate our new Nuggets, because we come in piece, 8 piece to be exact.”