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Popeyes' Chicken Sandwich War Paid Off In A Huge Way For Franchisees

Jayson Derrick

Investors looking for signs of confirmation that Popeyes is still a winner in the chicken sandwich wars should look no further than Carrols Restaurant Group Inc (NASDAQ: TAST), one of the largest restaurant franchisees in the U.S.

Popeyes Comps Rise 21.2%

Carrols operates Restaurant Brands International Inc (NYSE: QSR)-branded restaurants, including 1,035 Burger King restaurants and 65 Popeyes.

The company said in a Monday press release that comparable restaurant sales for its Popeyes restaurants rose 21.2% in the fourth quarter. Comparable restaurant sales at Popeyes locations for the full year rose 11.9% from 2018, according to Carrols. 

Comparable restaurant sales at Burger King restaurants slowed from 2.7% in the same quarter lin 2018 to 2%, the company said. Similarly, comparable restaurant sales for the full year slowed from 3.8% to 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. 

CEO Says Popeyes, Burger King Are 'Two World-Class Brands'

Carrols CEO and Chairman Daniel Accordino said he's "encouraged by the continued strength" of both the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich and the Impossible Whopper.

The fourth quarter saw a more "muted discount environment," the CEO said. 

Accordino said he is "optimistic" that both Popeyes and Burger King have a "compelling" marketing plan.

Carrols also expects the 165 Burger King and 55 Popeyes stores it bought in May from Cambridge Franchise Holdings to show margin improvements. 

View more earnings on QSR

"We believe that Carrols is well-positioned to benefit from two world-class brands with significant scale advantages and a supportive franchisor partner as we execute on growth opportunities across multiple attractive markets," Accordino said. 

Carrols Restaurant Group shares were down 1.87% at $5.78 at the time of publication Tuesday. 

Related Links:

Chick-Fil-A's Beef With Popeyes Is Just The Latest Battle In The Chicken Wars

McDonald's Teases New Chicken Sandwiches

Public domain photo via Wikimedia. 

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