Is Popeyes a Black-Owned Fast Food Restaurant?

The question of whether or not Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, a well-known fast-food business famous for its fried chicken, is black-owned has been up for debate for years. Many people think that the chain is owned by people of color, which has generated discussion and controversy around the ownership issue.

The solution to this query is not, however, as simple as it might first appear.

Popeyes has black proprietors even if it is not solely a black-owned company. The franchise is owned by the Brazilian holding company Restaurant Brands International.

3G International owns the bulk of the business, and millions of people all over the world have shares.

Popeyes has always been identified with black culture even though it is not owned by black people, and the business supports black entrepreneurs.


In 1972, New Orleans, Louisiana-based Popeyes, a network of fried chicken fast food restaurants, was established.

The business has changed ownership multiple times since it was founded, which has aided in its development into the popular brand it is today.

Founding of Popeyes

Al Copeland, a businessman from Louisiana who formerly controlled the Chicken on the Run fast food chain, launched Popeyes.

In 1972, Copeland founded the first Popeyes restaurant in a suburb of New Orleans, and its fiery, Cajun-style fried chicken immediately became well-known.

Copeland grew the Popeyes brand throughout the ensuing years by adding more eateries in Louisiana and other Southern states.

There were more than 500 Popeyes restaurants open throughout the country by the end of the 1970s.

Ownership Changes

Popeyes was sold by Copeland to the publicly traded America’s Favorite Chicken Company (AFCC), which also owned Church’s Chicken, in 1992.

In 2006, AFCC changed its name to Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc., and up until 2017, it ran the Popeyes brand.

Restaurant Brands International (RBI), a multinational fast food holding company based in Canada that also owns Burger King and Tim Hortons, purchased Popeyes in 2017.

Popeyes was purchased by RBI for $1.8 billion, and since then, it has continued to grow both domestically and globally.

Today, Popeyes has more than 3,000 outlets across more than 30 countries, making it one of the largest fast food franchises in the world.

Although not exclusively owned by black people, this company has had a huge impact on the African American community and is frequently linked to the traditions and food of the American South.

Current Ownership

Popeyes is a global brand of fast-food restaurants serving fried chicken that was established in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1972.

Since the chain’s beginnings, its ownership has changed numerous times.

Restaurant Brands International (RBI), a multinational fast food holding corporation based in Canada, currently owns Popeyes.

Restaurant Brands International

As a result of the merger between Tim Hortons and Burger King, RBI was created in 2014.

The business has operations in more than 100 countries and has its headquarters in Toronto, Canada.

Popeyes became the third brand in RBI’s portfolio after its $1.8 billion acquisition of the chain in 2017.

The shares of RBI, a publicly traded firm, are held by millions of people of all races around the globe.

The principal owner of RBI is the Brazilian investment firm 3G International.

By 2023, RBI will have more than 20,000 sites worldwide, including an estimated 3,400 Popeyes restaurants spread over 25 different nations.

The growth and expansion of the chain have been significantly impacted by RBI’s acquisition of Popeyes.

Popeyes now has the financial means and operational know-how required to grow its customer base and take on other fast food companies thanks to RBI.

Popeyes’ sales and profitability have significantly increased since the takeover.

In conclusion, Restaurant Brands International, a Canadian global fast food holding company, currently owns Popeyes.

The shares of RBI, a publicly traded firm, are held by millions of people of all races around the globe. The principal owner of RBI is the Brazilian investment firm 3G International.

Impact on Business

Since 1972, the well-known fast-food restaurant Popeyes has been offering fried chicken.

The business has had a big impact on the fast food sector over the years. Additionally, it has contributed to the empowerment and assistance of black communities and entrepreneurs.

Black business owners held more than a quarter of Popeyes franchises in the 1980s. The company’s advertising efforts have made clear how committed it is to diversity and inclusion.

It has placed large advertisements in publications that showcase black entrepreneurs and enterprises, such as Black Enterprise.

Popeyes has continued to rely on black areas for customers, staff members, and franchisees in recent decades.

The company’s marketing tactics have made clear how committed it is to the black community.

For instance, Popeyes introduced their now-famous chicken sandwich in 2019, with a focus on marketing to African Americans.

The sandwich was a cultural phenomenon that increased sales for the business.

Despite its widespread success, Popeyes is not just a black-owned company. It is owned by the Brazilian holding corporation Restaurant Brands International.

3G International owns a sizable portion of the business, and millions of shareholders all around the world have shares.

In conclusion, Popeyes has had a huge influence on the fast-food sector and contributed to the uplift and support of black communities and entrepreneurs.

Although it is not only a black-owned company, its dedication to diversity and inclusion has been visible in its marketing and advertising initiatives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Popeyes black-owned?

No, Popeyes is not black-owned. The company is owned by a holding company called Restaurant Brands International, which is based in Brazil. However, Popeyes has a long history of serving “Cajun” food that has been inspired by black culture. The company has also presented racially representative marketing and offered practical rungs to people of color.

Who owns Popeyes?

Popeyes is owned by Restaurant Brands International, which is a multinational company that also owns Tim Hortons and Burger King. The majority of Restaurant Brands International is owned by a Brazilian investment firm called 3G Capital. Millions of people across the globe hold shares in the company.

Who founded Popeyes?

Popeyes was founded by a man named Al Copeland in 1972. Copeland was an entrepreneur from New Orleans who started the company with a single fried chicken restaurant. Over the years, Popeyes has grown to become a global chain with thousands of locations.

What is the history of Popeyes and black culture?

Popeyes has a long history of serving “Cajun” food that has been inspired by black culture. The company’s founder, Al Copeland, was a white man from New Orleans who grew up eating Creole food that was heavily influenced by African American cooking. Copeland’s vision for Popeyes was to create a fast-food chain that served authentic New Orleans-style food, including fried chicken, red beans and rice, and jambalaya.

Does Popeyes support black-owned businesses?

Popeyes has not made any public statements about supporting black-owned businesses. However, the company has been known to partner with black celebrities and influencers for marketing campaigns. For example, in 2020, Popeyes partnered with rapper Quavo to release a limited-edition menu item called the “Quavo Meal.” The meal included a chicken sandwich, fries, and a drink.


It is evident from studies on Popeyes’ ownership that black people are not the company’s proprietors.

Restaurant Brands International, a Brazilian holding corporation, is the owner of Popeyes. Brazilian investment firm 3G International owns the bulk of the business.

Despite a lengthy history of catering and marketing to African American neighborhoods, Popeyes is not a black-owned business.

In the past, Popeyes had a sizable number of franchises that were owned by black business people, and the corporation carried advertisements in magazines like Black Enterprise.

This does not, however, alter the fact that a multinational organization with its headquarters in Brazil ultimately owns the business.

It’s crucial to remember that this does not necessarily speak to Popeyes’s cuisine or service quality. People of all colors can still support and appreciate the company even though it is not owned by black people.

However, it’s critical to be aware of who owns the companies we patronize and to make wise financial decisions.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.