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Popeyes US sales are making a massive comeback

Heidi Chung
Reporter

Americans can’t get enough of Popeyes fried chicken. Popeyes chicken sales made a massive comeback and surged in May, according to a new SEC filing.

Restaurant Brands (QSR) reported that Popeyes’ U.S. same-store sales were in the positive low-forties, as of the third week in May, up from flat in the second half of March.

“Sequential improvement in comparable sales in our home markets has primarily been driven by the continued strength of our safe and convenient drive-thrus; the acceleration of our digital platforms, particularly in home delivery; growth in group orders and family bundles as an attractive and affordable dining option,” Restaurants Brands said.

According to the company, if a restaurant was closed for a significant portion of the month, it was not included in the monthly comparable sales calculation.

CANADA, TORONTO, ONTARIO - 2018/12/20: Popeyes real food: five chicken tenders with onion rings. Backlit image. (Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Popeye’s same-store sales rose 34.4% in the fourth quarter of 2019 and jumped 26.2% in the first quarter of 2020. Much of Popeyes recent success came as a result after the launch of the fast food chain’s popular chicken sandwich. It swept the country after its release in the summer of 2019 and started what is referred to as the “chicken sandwich wars.”

Read more: Popeyes chicken sandwich: Inside a great American fast food success story

Unlike Popeyes, Burger King and Tim Hortons have not seen the same jaw-dropping recovery as Popeyes.

Burger King’s U.S. same-store sales were in the negative mid-single digits as of the third week of May, up from negative low-thirties in the second half of March. Meanwhile, Tim Hortons Canada same-store sales were trending in negative mid-twenties, up from negative mid-forties in the second half of March.

As of the third week in May, roughly 60% of stores in Europe, the Middle East and Africa are open. In Asia Pacific more than 85% of Restaurant Brands stores are open, including 98% of restaurants in China, up from 50% at the peak of the pandemic.

Restaurant Brands shares were down about 13% this year.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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