Popeyes franchise

Hassle-free business loans to start your Popeyes franchise.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, more simply known as Popeyes, operates quick-service restaurants that offer a ‘Louisiana- style’ menu featuring spicy chicken, biscuits, fried shrimp and other quick-service menu items. They rank at #16 in the list of all US fast food brands, behind other chicken restaurants such as Chick-Fil-A and KFC.

Popeyes business details

Popeyes was launched in 1972 and have been offering franchise opportunities since 1976. Their corporate headquarters are in Miami, Florida. A major name in the chicken restaurant industry, they have over 3,000 US locations and also operate in the UK, France, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Spain and Switzerland. Total outlets are more than 4,000. The brand had US gross revenues of $5 billion in 2022.

Popeyes at a glance:

  • US stores: Approximately 3000
  • Required Investor net worth: $1,000,000
  • Required investor liquid cash: $500,000
  • Min. investment: $470,000
  • Max. investment: $3,875,000
  • Standard franchise term: 20 years

Can I start a Popeyes franchise?

You’ll need at least half a million dollars in liquid cash and a net worth of at least double that. You’ll also need access to some serious financing to cover start-up costs that can approach $4 million. Apart from that, you’ll also need previous experience at running multi-unit restaurants, permanent residence in the area where your restaurants are located and ‘consistent involvement in local community initiatives’. Lastly, as you may expect after all this, you’ll be expected to take a hands-on, active role in running the business. This is serious franchising. It is not an opportunity for passive investment.

How much does a Popeyes franchise cost?

Like all the major fast food brands, getting into a Popeyes chicken n’ biscuits franchise is not cheap. Expect to pay at least $470,000 to get started and be prepared for costs that could go as high as $3,875,000 depending on where the store is located and what kind of store it is – Popeyes restaurants may be a walk-in format, drive-thru, sit-down, takeout, delivery, or some combination of these types. Set-up costs therefore rank as moderate to very high.

The initial franchise fee is $50,000. Military veterans may be eligible for a $22,500 discount off this cost and a reduced royalty fee for the first six months of operation.

After opening, you are required to pay an array of ongoing fees and charges. They include:

  • Royalty fee: 5% of gross sales
  • Advertising contribution: 4% of gross sales
  • Advertising co-op: 0.5% to 1.75% of gross sales
  • Digital sales fees: Flat $200 per month, plus 1% of digital sales up to a cap of $6,500 per location
  • IT fee: $1,980 per year per location
  • Transfer fee: $1,500 to $7,500 depending on transfer
  • Background check fee: $210 to $15,000
  • Training platform maintenance fee: $60 per month
  • Gift card services: 1.8% per transaction
  • Site re-approval fee: $5,000
  • PLK foundation: $1,000 per restaurant per year

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Estimated key costs to open a Popeyes franchise:

Key Costs GuideLowHigh
Franchise fee$50,000$50,000
Real estate rent and improvementsvariesvaries
Soft costs$80,000$420,000
Site works$0$800,000
Construction/build out costs$100,000$1,600,000
Signage and technology$250,000$850,000
Initial training$17,200$24,200
Opening inventory$13,000$26,000
Utility deposits$2,500$50,000
Business licenses$1,300$6,500
Additional costs – first three months$20,000$30,000

Are Popeyes franchises profitable?

Yes. Average gross revenues for Popeye’s standalone restaurants was $1,821,000 in 2022, not so far from the industry high of $2.4 million. With a 10% net profit margin, this kind of performance would deliver net income of $182,000 per year, more than three times the average US franchisee income of $60k per year (all franchises). Income therefore ranks as very good.

What is the failure rate for a Popeyes franchise?

Low to moderate. The failure rate for a Popeyes franchise was lower than the industry average of 8% for quick-service restaurants in 2023. However, not all Popeyes outlets are doing well. Recently there have been notable franchise bankruptcies, including a 17 unit business that went bust in Georgia in early 2024.

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What are the franchise territory policies for Popeyes?

Franchisees are granted a geographic area within which the company will not open, nor license anyone other than the franchisee to open, a Popeyes restaurant during the term of the franchise agreement. The protected area is equal to the lesser of a one mile radius around the franchised restaurant, or an area surrounding the franchised restaurant encompassing a population (residential and workplace combined) of 50,000 people. Popeyes has the right to periodically reduce or modify the protected area to reflect population shifts. However, if it is less than a one-mile radius, the protected area will always include a population of at least 50,000 people.

What franchise resources does Popeyes offer?

Popeyes support for franchisees includes:

  • Training: If the store is the franchisee’s first Popeyes restaurant, then before the franchisee opens or takes possession of the restaurant, a minimum of five of the designated management employees (the franchisor decides the final number), including the managing director, must complete the training program that is applicable to their role at the restaurant. Training can take as long as six to ten weeks. Periodically, the company may also make available to franchisees or their employees additional training programs. Attendance at these supplementary sessions may be mandatory. 
  • Marketing support: Popeyes provides promotional and other marketing support for their franchisees.
  • Third-party financing: Popeyes provides no financial support for investors seeking franchise funding. Alternatively you may be able to obtain economical and flexible funding solutions from the many independent funders who provide business loans to franchise operators.

Why should you start a Popeyes franchise?

The chicken sandwich and quick-service restaurant industry is a staple of the UK economy, and it’s dominated by a handful of large players that includes Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. This means you receive the backing of a major brand, very good profits, and the potential of a huge domestic market – which makes this a viable franchise opportunity. The only concerns are the high costs of entry and a failure rate that shows some vulnerability. If you can live with these issues, then a Popeyes restaurant business could be right for you.

What is the process for starting a Popeyes franchise?

It begins with an application. Start the process here.

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Starting a new franchise can be an exciting opportunity, but it’s easy to get lost in a maze of business loan applications that can make funding your new fast food business like too much hard work. Instead, cut out the hassle and cut to the chase. Swoop has the best lenders for the best franchises across the US. Just tell us what you need and leave the rest to us.

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Written by

Chris Godfrey

Chris is a freelance copywriter and content creator. He has been active in the marketing, advertising, and publishing industries for more than twenty-five years. Writing for Wells Fargo Bank, Visa, Experian, Ebay, Flywire, insurers and pension funds, his words have appeared online and in print to inform, entertain and explain the complex world of US consumer and business finance.

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Article sources
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Swoop requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate.

Franchise funding: https://swoopfunding.com/us/blog/funding-your-franchise-a-guide-for-franchisees/

Profitability: https://www.franchimp.com/?page=franchisor&id=107335

Popeyes franchise application: https://franchising.popeyes.com/apply-now.html

Popeyes: https://franchising.popeyes.com/why-popeyes.html

Failure rate: https://www.franchimp.com/?page=franchisor&id=107335

Set-up costs: https://www.franchisedirect.com/foodfranchises/popeyes-louisiana-kitchen-franchise-07442/ufoc/

Ranking at #16: https://www.qsrmagazine.com/operations/fast-food/ranked-the-top-50-fast-food-chains-in-america/

Revenues: https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/top-500-chains-2023/popeyes

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