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While Popeyes Chicken isn’t the #1 fast food chicken chain, it still has a lot of fans of its Louisiana cuisine. Here are 9 fun facts about Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.
1. Louisiana. Founder Al Copeland started Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen in Arabi, Louisiana in 1972.
2. The French Connection. The fast food chicken restaurant is named after Popeye Doyle from the movie The French Connection and not the popular cartoon sailor.
3. Doughnuts. Al Copeland started with Tastee Donuts when he was 18, but sold the business and his car to start Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen when he noticed the KFC down the street was outselling his doughnut shop.
4. Ellen DeGeneres and Aubrey Plaza. Both appeared in Popeyes commercials before they were famous. DeGeneres in the early 80s and Plaza in the mid-2000s.
5. 26 Countries Worldwide. You can find a Popeyes fast food restaurant all over the world, including Bahrain, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Northern Cyprus, Republic of Georgia, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Suriname, Trinidad, Turkey and Vietnam, and of course, the United States of America.
6. Buy Their Own Recipes Back. In 2014, Popeyes had to pay $43 million to the Copeland Estate to acquire the original chicken recipe. Apparently when he gave up control of the fast food chain in 1992, Al Copeland was still charging $3.1 million in royalties and licensing fees to Popeyes.
7. Name Change. The name changed a few times over the years, including Chicken on the Run, Popeyes Mighty Good Fried Chicken, Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken, Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, and now Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.
8. Fats Domino. Popeyes got Fats Domino to sing “Love That Chicken From Popeyes,” as part of their marketing campaign in the late 80s. Dr. John and Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters also performed the song in commercials over the years.
9. Beyoncé. Her favorite fast food restaurant is Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. That is, before she went vegan. Hank Aaron, Adam Jones, UFC fighter Daniel Cormier, and Oprah Winfrey are all big fans of Popeyes.