10 Popeyes Secrets That You Will Actually WANT To Know

Fast food chains are as varied as they are
big. And each and every one of them has its own
secrets that it hopes nobody will find out about. Secrets like name changes, embarrassing recipes,
teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, or just lurid details that you’d like to know. Preferably while you nibble on a meal from
the said franchise. Today, it’s Popeyes turn. So here are 10 Popeyes secrets that you will
actually want to know. The Popeyes Name Change Popeyes wasn’t always Popeyes. It went through various name changes before
settling on this catchy one. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with changing
your franchise’s name especially when it hasn’t reached that level of growth yet. But what really makes the name change interesting
is the types of names the company went through. It started with Chicken on the Run. And no it wasn’t inspired by Band on the
Run the hit song by Paul McCartney and Wings. That one came out a decade later. The name just probably sounded snazzy to the
founder Al Copeland at the time. However, he soon got tired of it in a matter
of months and changed it into Popeye’s Famous Fried Chicken. How he came up with the Popeye name is another
story that we will reveal later. But for now, Copeland was on a quest to find
the perfect name. He soon realized that having the word ‘famous’
in the name doesn’t guarantee either fame or success. So he changed the name yet again. This time it became Popeye’s Chicken and
Biscuits. Now you have to admit that this is an adorable
name. It’s also curious that he still kept the
Popeye name like he had already made up his mind about it. Finally, he changed the name for the last
time to its current name, Popeyes Louisiana Chicken. What a journey! Popeyes has a charismatic founder It takes more than an average person to propel
a fried chicken outlet into a worldwide success. And Al Copeland certainly is not your average
Joe. He’s a larger than life guy who’s had
many nicknames throughout his life. One of those names is Spender. And you can guess why he got that name. But let’s digress. Al Copeland was born in 1944 with nothing
going for him but his huge dreams and gigantic ambitions. Up until he started Popeyes he was leading
a very ordinary life even by Lousiana’s standards. He didn’t come from a rich family or anything. His early life was a struggle just as he struggled
with settling with a name for his restaurant as we’ve already seen. But once Popeyes hit the big time, Al Copeland
knew his time had come. He wasn’t a man to be modest about his wealth. He flaunted it wherever he went. And oh, he did go everywhere. He ran boat racing teams, owned a comedy club
called The Improv, and even started other food franchises. That’s right. He owns the restaurant chain Copeland’s. It has over 20 locations in Louisiana and
neighboring states and this one hasn’t undergone any name changes since it was established. Popeyes has nothing to do with the cartoon
character Ask anyone who Popeye is and they would immediately
mention the cartoon character that loves to eat spinach and whack his enemies with his
larger-than-life forearms. But before Al Copeland settled on that name
or even opened the restaurant, the movie The French Connection hit theatres and became
an instant success. In the movie, Gene Hackman plays a detective
named Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle. Hackman was cool, suave, and charismatic in
the role. And that resonated with Al Copeland. So while he was pursuing the ultimate name
for his fast-food restaurant, he remembered the movie that came out a year before. As we have already seen, Popeye kept bouncing
through several names before Popeyes Louisiana Chicken became the official and final name
for the franchise. If that tells us anything, it’s that the
movie had such a great impression on Copeland that he would remember it after all this time
and actually stick with that name throughout the restaurant’s different name mutations. Sadly the movie didn’t pass the test of
time, and as it faded from our collective memory, all that the name Popeye reminds us
of now is the fried chicken and the cartoon character. Popeyes vs. KFC and the tastiest chicken With all the competition between the fast-food
franchises, a clash was bound to happen. And by clash, we mean a contest where each
chain tries to prove that it serves the best-fried chicken in the world. Generally speaking, this kind of thing doesn’t
happen often. Maybe it’s because giant fast food franchises
know that there’s no glory in winning (it’s all fast food after all) and losing would
just impact sales. Case in point when Starbucks ranked at the
bottom for the best coffee outlets. So fast food giants prefer to duke it out
in marketing and advertising rather than go against each other head to head in an honest
contest. But sometimes the inevitable happens and some
national contest pits the fast food chains against each other. Like the time in 2010 when a national taste
test asked the public to name their favorite fried chicken meal. The stakes were high because this is about
more than just pride or bragging rights. The winner will talk about it for a long time
and make sure people hear about it over and over again. The loser will suffer financially and see
a period of low sales. But in the end, Popeyes Spicy and Mild Bonafide
Fried Chicken won the day while KFC’s Original Recipe lost without dignity or grace. It’s true both are fried chicken, but a
win is a win. Anthony Bourdain was a big Popeyes fan Every food chain has its own hardcore fanbase. It’s natural that some people would only
eat at McDonald’s while others would never set foot in the place. People have different tastes and the fast
food market plays on these differences to attract new customers while trying hard not
to lose the current ones. Now some of the fans can be celebrities themselves. Which is fine. Celebrities are human after all and they have
their own weaknesses just like every one of us. And Popeyes had no less than the late great
Anthony Bourdain as one of its biggest fans. Before he passed away, Bourdain described
his passion for Popeyes in an interview with The Boston Globe. He called it his guilty pleasure and he named
a certain meal as his passion. He went on, “My real guilty pleasure — my
really disgusting, shameful pleasure — is the mac and cheese at Popeye’s fried chicken.” Notice how he wasn’t proud about it and
was calling it “shameful pleasure”? In fact, he had such a strong desire about
keeping it a secret that he wouldn’t go to Popeyes during the day. Rather, he said, “Late at night, I’ve
been known to sneak in there with a hoodie on — and I always get nailed.” Well you know if Anthony Bourdain is sneaking
in to this restaurant there must be a good reason. Reason enough for any of us non celebrity
super chefs to pay a visit too. September is Popeyes month Why September you might ask. Well, nobody knows for sure. It might be a marketing ploy. It might be that September has a special significance
to the founder. Or maybe it was just picked at random. What we know for certain is that in 2013,
the company came out with a bold declaration. September, the company said, was going to
be “Love That Chicken Month.” And by chicken they meant the Popeyes chicken
and by love it, they mean eat it. It all makes sense now. Every September we should all go in droves
to eat at Popeyes. But does that mean that for the rest of the
year we should refrain from loving that chicken? The statement wasn’t clear about that. But just to encourage the fast food chain
fans to take the September campaign seriously, the company tends to offer a lot of promotions
and discounts during September. And that’s something we can’t pass up. Give us a fried chicken promotion any time
be it September or February. We wonder what the Colonel thinks about September
being “Love That Chicken Month”? Seems like an easy way to piggyback on a rivals
marketing campaign. Who’s chicken are you going to love? Spicy recipes saved the franchise Let’s make one thing clear, Al Copeland
is a charismatic personality but he was no miracle worker. He never claimed to have the Midas touch turning
anything he touches into gold. In fact, before Popeyes made it big it was
struggling. Especially in the first few months when sales
were low and people didn’t find the menu appealing. Back then Copeland was offering mild fried
chicken that had nothing over KFC or even home fried chicken. At the end of his rope and not knowing how
to turn things around, Copeland made a last ditch effort to draw customers. He switched to spicy fried chicken. The restaurant kept its mild chicken on the
menu but started offering a second choice. That second choice was none-other than its
famous spicy Cajun chicken. But for some reason that still didn’t work. Something drastic needed to happen to make
the change Copeland hoped for. So he shut down the restaurant and changed
a few things around. The changes didn’t just include the menu,
the spicy chicken, and the decor, but also the name. It was around this time that he started using
Popeye in the name and this time things worked out well. People fell in love with the spicy Cajun chicken
and liked the new name well enough. And the rest, as they say, is history. 1991 was a bad year for Popeyes In the world of business and finance, declaring
bankruptcy is a regular thing. Many business people swallow that bitter pill
in the hope that things will get better and they can get on their feet later. But when a company declares bankruptcy they’re
usually not coming back from that. Especially if it’s a fast food giant. But back in 1991, Popeyes took that extreme
measure because debts were piling up and the company coffers were empty. Copeland found himself facing $391 million
in unpaid bills. So how did a successful fast-food chain fall
into such a deep hole? Well, it didn’t have anything to do with
the founder’s famously lavish lifestyle. Rather it was the fast expansions. Copeland made some drastic decisions to expand
rapidly and open several outlets all over the world at once. Of course, expansion incurs spending and it
takes time for the new outlets to start making a profit. With millions in debt, the company had no
other choice but declare bankruptcy. But that wasn’t the end of Popeyes. America’s Favorite Chicken Company was now
the owner of both Popeyes and Church’s Fried Chicken. Popeyes sells livers and gizzards too As unappetizing as this sounds, it’s a fact
that certain locations serve unsavory menus that anyone wouldn’t associate normally with
Popeyes. Livers and gizzards? Sounds like an acquired taste. But these are not the kind of dishes you’ll
find in a regular outlet. They only serve these in certain markets which
have an appetite for the chicken innards. The thing is, some say they taste as awful
as they sound. Yet, some people might fancy them. Either way, you need to keep in mind the health
hazards. The fried liver is by far the unhealthiest
meal you can ever consume in a fast food chain outlet or any restaurant for that matter. Not only are chicken livers crammed with high
levels of cholesterol, frying them makes them even unhealthier. Consider for example that a regular meal of
fried chicken liver contains 80 grams of fat. It also has 1,190 calories and more cholesterol
than your poor heart can possibly handle. So before you go searching for Popeyes outlets
that sell fried chicken gizzards, you should remember that these dishes are a unique taste. If they were really that tasty they would
be sold all over the country or even the world. And with these health and taste reservations,
we’re not sure there’s anything appealing about eating chicken guts. The company had to buy its own recipes back This one is an embarrassing secret that the
company doesn’t like to see spread around. But secrets are our trade and we don’t like
to hold out on our viewers. It all goes back to 1991, that year the company
had to file for bankruptcy. It was bought over the next year, which saved
it from its financial difficulties. But even though Al Copeland no longer owned
the company, he still had an ace up his sleeve. That ace is the spicy recipes which he came
up with in the early 1970s and literally saved his budding dream from collapse. These same recipes which the company still
used were owned by Copeland. And for their use, the company had to pay
Al $3.1 million every year in royalties. It’s a lot of money, we know, but these are
not regular chicken recipes you can get online, after all. Finally, the company and Al sat down together
and came to an agreement. Copeland would sell his spicy chicken recipes
to the company for a one time fee of $43 million. Which goes to show that spending time in the
kitchen and coming up with your own recipes pays in the long run. Spend a little more time with us by checking
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