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Church's Chicken
Type Private
Founded April 17, 1952
Headquarters Sandy Springs, Georgia
Key people George W. Church, Sr. (Founder)
Harsha Agadi
Industry Food
Website churchs.com

Church's Chicken is a US-based chain of fast food restaurants specializing in fried 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,[1][2] now has more than 1,650 locations worldwide.[3] Their slogan is "I know what good is."

Contents

History

Initially the restaurant sold only chicken, but french fries and jalapeños were later added in 1955.[3] The company had four restaurants when George W. Church died in 1956. Following Church's death, his son George W. Church, Jr., took control of the company. By 1962, the family had expanded the company to eight restaurants. Among the later distributors of the chain in Texas was B.P. Newman of Laredo.

Rapid growth followed, and Church's became the second-largest chicken restaurant chain in 1989, when it merged with Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits.[3] 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 and Cinnabon through the end of 2004, when it was sold to Arcapita (formerly Crescent Capital Investments). Because Arcapita is an Islamic venture capital firm, pork products were removed from the menu after the sale (pork not being halal) in 2005.[4][5]

On August 10, 2009, San Francisco private equity firm Friedman Fleischer & Lowe bought Church’s Chicken from Arcapita.[6]

Church's Chicken began a corporate partnership with the Children's Miracle Network in association with Saidu Momoh in the summer of 2004.[7]

In some areas Church's is co-franchised with the White Castle hamburger chain.[8] In Canada, Church's Chicken items were once available in Harvey's restaurants, but the co-venture was discontinued.[citation needed]

To date, Church's Chicken has over 1,650 locations in 22 countries. There are some locations within Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, and Indonesia.[9]

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, and a spicy flavor option for the chicken.

Church's and Urban Legends

Beginning in the 1980s and continuing through the '90s, Church's Chicken was the subject of multiple rumors:

  1. That the company was run by the KKK and/or David Duke.
  2. That the company used saltpeter, or a similar substance, to make black men sterile.

The rumors are untrue, but in the view of both Jan Harold Brunvand and Patricia A. Turner, express fears and anxieties among the black community about ill-will from white-owned businesses. [10]

Notes

  1. ^ "Grand Opening!" Church's Chicken. Retrieved on February 23, 2010.
  2. ^ "City Council Districts." City of Sandy Springs. Retrieved on July 4, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c "History of Church's Chicken". http://www.churchs.com/company-history.html.  at official website
  4. ^ "AFC Enterprises Inc., franchisor of Popeyes, Church's Chicken; and Cinnabon, reports improved results for the fourth quarter". amonline.com. 2003-12-16. http://www.amonline.com/web/online/VendingMarketWatch-News/AFC-Enterprises-Inc--franchisor-of-Popeyes--Churchs-Chicken-and-Cinnabon--reports-improved-results-for-the-fourth-quarter/1$11735. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  5. ^ Janet, Levy (2008-05-02). "Outlawing the Pig". frontpagemagazine.com. http://frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=B4D7EA5D-074C-4D34-AB04-71E9354504CB. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  6. ^ "Church’s Chicken sold to private equity firm". http://www.bizjournals.com/triad/othercities/sanantonio/stories/2009/08/10/daily4.html. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  7. ^ "The Burgundy Group: Our Clients". theburgundygroup.com. http://www.theburgundygroup.com/content1.aspx?pn=12#churchs. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  8. ^ Gramig, Mickey H. (2006-11). "White Castle, Churchs Chicken to Share Restaurant Sites". Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb5553/is_/ai_n22324638. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  9. ^ Desmarais, Martin (2006-10-16). "Agadi drives Church’s Chicken past $1 billion sales". indusbusinessjournal.com. http://www.indusbusinessjournal.com/ME2/Audiences/dirmod.asp?sid=&nm=&type=Publishing&mod=Publications%3A%3AArticle&mid=8F3A7027421841978F18BE895F87F791&tier=4&id=9108C2A6F897470AB0358A68F671F344&AudID=0C5ABC84F3CE4D0DB8BF8D0BF8BD2F70. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  10. ^ Church’s Fried Chicken and the Klan: A Rhetorical Analysis of Rumor in the Black Community. Patricia A. Turner. Western Folklore 46 (October 1987) pp. 294-306)][Jan Harold Brunvand, Encyclopedia of Urban Legends, ABC-Clio 2001, s.v. “Church’s Chicken Rumors”

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