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Church's Chicken

Chain of fast-food chicken restaurants.

Headquarters:
Cajun Operating Company
980 Hammond Dr., Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30328
Employees: 10,000+
CEO: Jim Hyatt
Privately held

Website: http://www.churchs.com

Career Site

Church's operates the nation's fourth-largest chain of fried chicken fast-food restaurants with more than 1,700 locations worldwide in 22 countries. Total system sales are about $1.2 billion.

Church’s serves up a rich tradition of gracious Southern hospitality and freshly prepared, high quality, authentic Southern style fare, to help people provide affordable, complete meals for their families.

Church’s menu includes fried chicken both Original and Spicy, boneless wings, crispy tenders and Southern Style Chicken sandwiches with classic sides including cole slaw and mashed potatoes and made from scratch biscuits.

The Church's chain is owned by private equity firm Friedman Fleischer and Lowe.

History

It all started in San Antonio, TX in 1952. George W. Church Sr., a retired incubator salesman with more than 20 years in the poultry industry, conceived the idea of offering freshly cooked, quality fried chicken at a time when only hot dogs and ice cream were marketed fast-food style.

Church reasoned that the food service industry would have to change its approach in order to capitalize on the opportunities created by population growth and increased mobility. By cutting the frills common to the restaurant industry philosophy of the day, Church felt he could deliver his product profitably at low cost with a more efficient use of capital and employees.

The first "Church's Fried Chicken to Go" was located in downtown San Antonio, across the street from the Alamo. The restaurant sold only fried chicken. Church added French fries and jalapeños to the menu in 1955. George Church's idea paid off, and at the time of his death in 1956, four Church's were open. Other members of the family became active in the business, and by 1962 the chain had grown to eight locations in San Antonio.

By 1967, the company was set to expand, and less than a year later it established the first Church's restaurants outside Texas.

The Church family was bought out in October 1968, and in May 1969 Church's Fried Chicken, Inc. became a publicly held company. At the end of 1969, over 100 Church's restaurants were in operation in seven states. Between 1969 and 1974, Church's grew by an additional 387 restaurants. At year-end 1974, there were 487 Church's in 22 states with total revenues of more than $100 million. The highlight of this period was the opening of the national headquarters complex and manufacturing plant on a six-acre site in northwest San Antonio.

International expansion began in 1979, with the announcement of the first Church's abroad. The company subsequently established locations in Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and Indonesia.

By 1989, Church's was the second-largest chicken franchise organization in the United States. That was the year it merged with the number three chicken chain, Popeyes Famous Chicken & Biscuits, headquartered in New Orleans. The Church's concept remained distinct and separate from Popeyes.

On November 5, 1992, America's Favorite Chicken Company (AFC) -- now called AFC Enterprises Inc. -- officially became the parent company to Church's Chicken, and moved its operations to headquarters in Atlanta.

After 12 years under the AFC umbrella, on December 26, 2004, private equity firm Arcapita Inc bought the fast food chain from AFC Enterprises, Inc. Fast Forward to August 10, 2009, when San Francisco based private equity firm Friedman, Fleischer & Lowe LLC (FFL) acquired Church’s Chicken and became its parent company. Today, the company is focused on new product development, restaurant expansion domestically and internationally, and providing its guests with superior service and products.

Benefits

What we offer:
• Paid Sick, Vacation and Holidays
• Medical, Dental, Vision and Life Insurance
• Paid Prescription Coverage
• Tuition Reimbursement
• Short and Long Term Disability
• Opportunity to earn a quarterly bonus.

Updated August 31, 2012