Popeyes(r) Chicken & Biscuits Improves Menu Of Success In 2005

New Executive Leadership, Menu Enhancements, Restaurant Development to Build on Three Decades of Flavor Superiority

Atlanta, Georgia, UNITED STATES

ATLANTA, Feb. 15, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- A new year for Popeyes(r) Chicken & Biscuits, a division of AFC Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq:AFCE), brings a strategic focus on new opportunities while remaining true to its culinary heritage. Menu enhancements, restaurant development and re-imaging, new creative marketing and improved restaurant operations are a few of the key initiatives that will drive the growth of the New Orleans-style brand in 2005. Several new executives have been added to the Popeyes Team to lead these initiatives.

Directing Popeyes' brand fundamentals and company image is President Ken Keymer who joined the company in April of 2004. "This year will be a time of exciting change and opportunity for the Popeyes brand. Popeyes has great food, hands down some of the most flavorful menu items in the QSR arena. Our team plans to bring that flavor superiority to more consumers with our renewed focus on restaurant development, operations, marketing and our most important asset, our food."

Development of new restaurants and re-imaging of existing restaurants is a leading initiative for the company this year and is led by Popeyes' new Chief Development Officer Jim Lyons. A veteran of the industry, he is responsible for all new domestic company and franchise Popeyes restaurant development as well as franchise recruitment and new business development for domestic markets.

Improving overall restaurant operations to enhance the customer's experience is a focus for the company and the charge of Popeyes' new Vice President of Field Service, Bob Melberth. With more than 25 years of QSR experience, Melberth is responsible for providing strategic and tactical leadership for field services, consulting and overall support to Popeyes independent franchise operators.

"Jim and Bob have already made significant improvements to our development and operations programs. From reducing project costs for new restaurants to restructuring our support team by placing them in the field, closer to our franchise operators, they have put into place the strategies and tactics that should stimulate greater growth for the system," says Keymer.

Critical to the success of both company-owned and franchised Popeyes restaurants is the brand's continued commitment to developing new, flavorful menu items that customers crave. Keymer continued, "To ensure we are creating and introducing the most delicious menu items possible, we've created the new role of Vice President of Menu Development and have invited accomplished R&D executive Kirk Waisner to tackle this exciting and important role."

Waisner's responsibilities include leading the culinary team in developing and testing new products that support Popeyes' menu strategy; determining recommended consumer pricing and food cost for products in conjunction with marketing; and directing the design and execution of consumer packaging for all menu items.

With all other key elements in place, Popeyes will also focus on enhancing its brand equity in the marketplace. To provide strategic direction in marketing the flavor that Popeyes customers demand, Popeyes has hired brand marketing veteran Rob Calderin as Chief Marketing Officer. In this role, Calderin will have overall responsibility for driving Popeyes brand positioning to broaden reach and appeal to a wider variety of consumers.

"With our Popeyes team fully staffed and in place, we will continue the work we started in 2004 to focus on brand consistency, improving the new restaurant pipeline, improving unit economics and driving operations executions forward in 2005," said Keymer. "Popeyes is about to enter a new era in 2005 and we plan to take the brand into exciting new territory."

Popeyes(r) is a leader in the New Orleans segment of the foodservice industry and is the world's second-largest quick-service chicken concept based on number of units. Founded in 1972 in New Orleans, Popeyes had 1,824 locations as of December 26, 2004, in 43 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 22 other countries. Visit Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits' Web site at www.popeyes.com.

AFC Enterprises, Inc. is the franchisor and operator of Popeyes(r) Chicken & Biscuits, the world's second-largest quick-service chicken concept based on number of units. As of December 26, 2004, Popeyes had 1,824 restaurants in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and 22 foreign countries. AFC has a primary objective to be the world's Franchisor of Choice(r) by offering investment opportunities in its Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits brand and providing exceptional franchisee support systems and services. AFC Enterprises can be found on the World Wide Web at www.afce.com.

The Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits logo is available at: http://media.primezone.com/prs/single/?pkgid=341


Contact Data