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Church’s Chicken continues steady gains

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ATLANTA — The global chicken restaurant brand, Church’s Chicken®, kicked off its annual Excellence in Leadership Conference (ELC) in Houston, Texas, the week of Oct. 8, coming in strong after last year’s call to action.

Themed around “Working Together,” one of the company’s core values, the audience was appropriately given the announcement of the brand’s best global performance in years, signaling that Church’s Chicken is back and ready to make a play for lead status in the category.

In early 2019, the company’s CEO Joe Christina, laid out a road map for bringing the brand back to leadership status. Renewed focus on streamlined operations, updating the brand and its restaurants, and making a stand for quality food and innovative chicken offerings were just a few of the top priorities for the year.

“Right now, we’re stronger than ever because, quite frankly, we show we care,” Christina announced to the crowd of more than 400 attendees comprised of managers, franchisees, and corporate team members. “We’re leading the way with an abundance of flavor at an affordable price. By offering a variety of value for every appetite, and for every budget, we are Staking Our Claim as the leaders in value for the price paid. We’re driving sales, and our guests are extremely satisfied.”

Christina then shared some results the brand has turned in during the past 12 months, many of which are recognized as key drivers for QSR (quick service restaurant) success, such as:

  • Increases in overall guest satisfaction, speed of service, and likelihood to return.
  • Tremendous guest response to menu items like Bourbon Black Pepper Smokehouse Chicken, Flamin’ Honey MegaBites and peach cobbler.
  • Gains in both new guests and repeat visits system wide.
  • Increase in average check size per guest.

Other huge wins for the brand in 2019, thus far, were also highlighted by Christina, including:

  • The STAR reimage program, which has updated and renovated nearly 40 percent of the system since 2015, will be complete system-wide by 2021.
  • National home delivery with Church’s To Go — now offered by 800 restaurants.
  • A new brand relaunch and return to national TV advertising with 6 weeks of ads that outscored the category and QSR industry competitors.
  • Growth on pace to open 100 international restaurants per year starting in 2021 — upping the total global system size to 2,000 restaurants in the near future.

After thanking everyone in attendance, including vendors, agencies, franchisees, and the Church’s Independent Franchise Association, for coming together to make these achievements possible, Christina then issued his challenge for the rest of this year and into 2020.

“We have ‘Staked Our Claim’ to the things we do best — real meals made by real people with the bold spirit of Texas,” he said. “Showing we care about teamwork and succeeding together has allowed us to get things done more quickly, invest more wisely and more effectively, and to drive sales and profits into our restaurants at record levels. Now — it’s time to Stake Our Claim towards being the top brand for both guests and franchisees when it comes to leadership in the QSR chicken category.”

Founded in 1952 in San Antonio, Texas, by George W. Church, Church’s Chicken has more than 1,500 locations in 25 countries and system-wide sales of more than $1 billion. More information can be obtained at

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