In five years, Jubilant intends to increase the number of Popeyes outlets in India to 250.
Jubilant FoodWorks Limited, which operates US fried-chicken chain Popeyes in India, said that it plans to grow Popeyes India network to 50 restaurants in the next one year and 250 restaurants in the medium-term or 4-5 years.
Popeyes made its debut in India with the opening of its first restaurant in Bengaluru in January 2022, followed by rapid expansion to 12 restaurants in Bengaluru. It made entry into a second region with the opening of the largest Popeyes India restaurant in Chennai in a year’s time.
“Chicken is one of India’s largest and fastest-growing categories in India and is expected to proliferate in years to come,” said Sameer Khetarpal, chief executive director and managing director of Jubilant FoodWorks Limited.
“After having established the product fitment, we are confident that, we will scale Popeyes progressively in other regions across the country and recreate the same excitement and loyalty for the brand,” he added.
Popeyes India has received a good response from Indian consumers. In last one year, nearly one million guests in Bengaluru and Chennai have tried the Popeyes menu suitably adapted to cater to the diverse taste palates of Indian guests. The company said its food tech park ensures consistent quality and high fill rates to the store. This significantly improves the consistency of taste, visibly translating into higher repeat rates for the brand.
The recent launch of speciality items unique to India such as the Hot & Messy Range, which is its signature fried chicken coated in flavourful sauces with Smoky Pepper and Sweet Chilli flavours, is aimed at Indian guests. The brand in India also offers a full range of vegetarian offerings including burgers, rice bowls, and wraps.
“We are committed to serving delicious, high-quality food and providing an exceptional experience,” said Joshua Kobza, CEO, Restaurant Brands International, a multinational fast food holding company, which owns Popeyes. “We look forward to further expanding our presence in India and bringing more flavorful menu items to our guests.”
Popeyes is known for its unique Louisiana-style Cajun fried chicken and chicken sandwiches. The use of bold Cajun spices – a proprietary blend of cayenne pepper, garlic, onion, black pepper, celery, and white pepper – and techniques developed by an in-house culinary team of chefs makes its fried chicken a point of reference for Michelin Chefs and celebrities. Popeyes was formed in 1972 in New Orleans, Louisiana and headquartered in Miami. It has now become one of the world’s largest chicken quick service restaurants with nearly 4100 restaurants in the U.S. and worldwide.
“We returned impressed from Popeyes first store in Chennai which marks its entry into Chennai and expansion from Bangalore (12 stores), in the fried chicken market,” said a recent report by Domestic brokerage and research firm ICICI Securities. “The store atmosphere is appealing with vibrant colours and a contemporary look and feel, self-ordering kiosk, good lighting and highest seating capacity amongst Popeyes India outlets (with a separate section for ‘open to sky’ table seating).”
ICICI Securities report forecasts Jubilant to add over 100 stores in FY24.
“We believe the brand will compete fiercely with KFC and wrest some of its market share. The market may eventually expand to accommodate both brands; however, KFC does have an air-pocket to tackle for now,” said the report.
Jubilant is India’s largest food service company. It holds the exclusive master franchise rights from Domino’s Pizza Inc. to develop and operate the Domino’s Pizza brand in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. It also has exclusive rights to develop and operate Dunkin’ restaurants in India and Popeyes restaurants in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. In 2019, Jubilant launched its first owned-restaurant brand ‘Hong’s Kitchen’ in the Chinese cuisine segment which now has 12 restaurants across 4 cities.
Jubilant which operates Domino’s Pizza, recently unveiled an ambitious plan to launch 20-minute-delivery services in metro cities across India – Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, and Hyderabad – in the next 12 months. To begin with, Jubilant recently said it now guarantees fresh pizza within 20 minutes of ordering in Bengaluru.