Louisiana-inspired chicken chain Popeyes has seen consistent success in the last decade, nailing down seven consecutive years of same-store sales increases. But if it wants to meet future growth goals, Popeyes has to take a shot at improving the notoriously bad service in its restaurants, BuzzFeed reports. The company is happy with its product and marketing, but it knows service is a significant issue.
"I can say candidly that our guest experience has not been up to the standard of our food," Popeyes chief brand officer Dick Lynch told BuzzFeed. "Our franchisees would agree."
With Kentucky Fried Chicken, Popeyes's chief competitor, staging an all-out blitz to lure millennials and capitalize on national food trends, the Atlanta-based chain faces a legitimate threat to its continued sales success. Lynch indicates Popeyes employees feel undervalued. That's isn't unique in the fast food industry, but it doesn't help when a company makes matters worse by shooting itself in the foot. Last year, Popeyes made dubious headlines when workers staged a walkout of location where the temperature inside was 94 degrees and when a pregnant cashier was fired after she was robbed at gunpoint.
Popeyes reportedly wants to wants to increase its average sales by 43 percent within the next decade, and earlier this month, it hired Steven J. Fricker as vice president of development to help spur that growth. To accomplish his charge, Fricker will have to bring the company's restaurants in line with his perception.
"I am pleased to have joined Popeyes, a highly respected, disciplined, and successful organization with an industry leading management team," Fricker said when he was hired. "Popeyes is known for its servant leadership culture which has allowed it to deliver superior results."