KUYA J Holdings Group, Inc. is bringing American fast food chain Popeyes back to the Philippines, years after the fried chicken joint exited the country due to issues with the previous franchise holder.
The operator of Kuya J restaurants said it has signed the exclusive master franchise deal for the Popeyes brand over the weekend, allowing it to develop and grow the brand in the country.
Established in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1972, Popeyes currently has over 2,900 restaurants in the United States and around the world. This makes it one of the largest chicken quick service restaurants (QSR) in the world.
Popeyes is part of Restaurant Brands International, Inc. (RBI), touted as among the largest quick service restaurant companies with over $30 billion in systemwide sales and more than 24,000 restaurants operating in around 100 countries and the United States. RBI is also the operator of the Tim Hortons and Burger King brands.
Meanwhile, the Kuya J Group owns and operates more than 100 Kuya J restaurants serving Filipino dishes in the country. Also under its portfolio are concept stores such as Isla Sugbu Seafood City, Tsay Cheng Chinese Cuisine, Majestic, and the heritage Grand Convention Center of Cebu.
“We are proud to partner with Popeyes to launch and develop this great brand in the Philippines. The Philippines is a large and growing market, and we are looking forward to serving the high-quality food that Popeyes offers to the country’s more than 100 million people,” Kuya J Group Chairman Lowell L. Yu said in a statement.
Popeyes President Alexandre Santoro noted this is the company’s first major development agreement in Asia.
“We believe that our passion for food at Popeyes will resonate well with guests in the Philippines. Our partner, Kuya J Group, brings years of local expertise and a keen understanding of consumers in the Philippines,” Mr. Santoro said in a statement.
To recall, the Popeyes brand had entered the Philippines as early as 2001 through the agribusiness firm Vitarich, Inc. The group sued Popeyes’ American franchisor at the time, AFC Enterprises, Inc., for allegedly attempting to terminate the brand’s development agreement, along with another brand called Texas Chicken. Popeyes then exited the country in 2007. — Arra B. Francia