Watch Out KFC, Popeyes Is Coming to China

By Justine Lopez, November 22, 2019

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Popeyes has its sights set on China. On Monday, the American fried chicken chain officially announced that it would open its first China-based store right here in Shanghai sometime next year, Reuters reports. 

But that’s just the beginning. Popeyes has big plans to become China’s most popular fried chicken joint. No easy feat considering KFC – the world’s most successful fried chicken brand – currently holds the top spot.

“I think we can be the no.1 chicken brand here in China and all around Asia,” said Jose Cil, CEO of Restaurant Brands International (RBI).

Popeyes aims to open 1,500 restaurants in China over the next 10 years. KFC currently has a whopping 6,300 branches in over 1,300 cities across the country.

READ MORE: Shake Shack’s 1st Pudong Location is Open Now

Popeyes is all the rage in the US right now, after its latest spicy fried chicken sandwich went viral. The sandwich proved to be so popular it sold out and was removed from the menu a few weeks later due to lack of supply. 

Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich
Image via @popeyeslouisianakitchen/Instagram

The good news is that the famous spicy chicken sandwich will be offered at the Shanghai branch. The bad news is you’ll just have to wait until 2020 to try it. 

Popeyes will be the last of RBI’s major brands to enter the Chinese market. Burger King and Tim Hortons have both proven to be immensely popular in China. Since 2012, Burger King has opened 1,100 stores in China and Tim Hortons has expanded to 28 stores in just one year.  

Hence, Popeyes lofty expectation to take on KFC here in China. 

READ MORE: China’s First Tim Hortons Opens to Massive 2-Hour Line

[Cover image via Mike Mozart/Flickr]

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