Top 250 Franchise by Entrepreneur – Rank no.43 – Church’s Chicken – US
Products & Services: Quick-service chicken restaurant
Number of Locations: 1,675
Total Investment: $424.29K – 1.25M
Began Franchising: 1969
About Church’s Chicken
Retired incubator salesman George W. Church Sr. had the idea in 1952 to offer fried chicken in a fast-food setting. The first Church’s Fried Chicken to Go opened in across the street from the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, and sold only fried chicken. French fries and jalapenos were added to the menu in 1955. Today, the menu has expanded to include other traditional sides such as coleslaw, biscuits, mashed potatoes and fried okra, as well as desserts and dipping sauces.
Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing
Franchise Fee: $15,000
Ongoing Royalty Fee: 5%
Term of Franchise Agreement: 20 years, renewable
Net Worth: $650,000
Liquid Cash Available: $1,500,000
60% of all franchisees own more than one unit. Absentee ownership of franchise is allowed. (100% of current franchisees are owner/operators).
How This Franchise Supports Franchisees
Franchise Ranking History
|Founded||April 17, 1952|
|Headquarters||Sandy Springs, Georgia, U.S.|
|Number of locations||1,700|
|Key people||George W. Church, Founder
Jim Hyatt, CEO
|Products||Fast food, including fried chicken, french fries, andbiscuits|
|Owner(s)||Friedman Fleischer & Lowe|
Church’s Chicken is a US-based chain of fast food restaurants specializing in fried chicken, also trading outside North America asTexas Chicken. The chain was founded as Church’s Fried Chicken To Go by George W. Church, Sr., on April 17, 1952, in San Antonio, across the street from The Alamo. The company, with its headquarters in Sandy Springs, Georgia, is the fourth-largest chicken restaurant chain behind KFC, Chick-fil-A, and former sister chain Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits.
Initially, the restaurant sold only chicken, but fries and jalapeños were added in 1955. The company had four restaurants when Church died in 1956. Rapid growth followed, and Church’s became the second-largest chicken restaurant chain in 1989, when it merged with Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits. The brands had their supply lines consolidated, but were still marketed as separate chains. Hala Moddelmog was appointed as president of Church’s Chicken in 1996, making her the first female president of a fast-food restaurant chain.
Church’s was owned by AFC Enterprises, along with Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits andCinnabon, through the end of 2004, when it was sold to Arcapita (formerly Crescent Capital Investments). Because Arcapita is an Islamic venture capital firm, porkproducts were removed from the menu after the sale (as pork is not halal) in 2005.Also, American Church’s Chicken restaurants switched beverage products to Coca-Cola (some locations serving Coke products and Dr Pepper), while still retaining thePepsi contract in Canada.
In some areas, Church’s is co-franchised with the White Castle hamburger chain. In Canada, Church’s Chicken items were once available in Harvey’s restaurants, but the co-venture was discontinued.
To date, Church’s Chicken has over 1,660 locations in 26 countries. There are locations in Honduras, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Canada,Guyana, Mexico, Indonesia, St. Kitts, Russia, Georgia (Tbilisi), Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Saint Lucia, Syria, Vietnam, Kuwait, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago, Curaçao, and Jordan.
The menu for Church’s has greatly expanded with fried okra, cole slaw, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and honey butter biscuits being staples. Also, newer entree choices have emerged, including, sandwiches, nuggets, tacos and a spicy flavor option for the chicken.