Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen has closed all but two of its restaurants on the Chinese mainland.
Four stores in Shanghai, as well as two in Hanghzou, Zhejiang province, and one in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, have all ceased operation.
"We were not informed whether the stores will be closed permanently or opened later," a customer service staffer told Global Times, "We haven't received any specific notice nor the reason for the closure."
The two remaining Popeyes restaraunts are both in Shanghai; the flagship store on Huaihai Lu and a second at Shinmay Union Square in Pudong. It is unclear whether they will remain in operation going forward.
Founded in 1972 in New Orleans, Popeyes is “the second-largest quick-service (read: fast food) chicken restaurant group, measured by number of units, after KFC.”
The chain first opened its flagship store on Huaihai Lu in May 2020, hot on the heels of a person being stabbed to death over a Popeyes chicken sandwich in the US.
The store was noted for drawing crowds at all hours of the day – with people queuing from 4am on the opening day – leading to long lines spilling out onto Huaihai Lu.
Operated by PLK APAC Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Restaurant Brands International Inc – who also own Burger King and Tim Hortons – the company had set an ambitious target of opening 1,500 Popeyes on the Chinese mainland within 10 years.
Popeyes' China dreams now look to be over, however, and we can only ascribe it to one thing – not enough spinach on the menu...
[Cover image by That's]