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QUANTUM LEAP: POPEYES BECOMES SIX TIMES LARGER IN LOS ANGELES WITH PIONEER DEAL

 ATLANTA, June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Atlanta-based America's Favorite Chicken Company (AFC) and Los Angeles-based Pioneer Chicken signed a letter of intent today to convert and develop 164 restaurants in Southern California.
 The agreement calls for the conversion of all 82 of Pioneer's California restaurants to Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken & Biscuits restaurants, and Pioneer will develop a minimum of 82 new Popeyes over the next few years.
 "This gives Popeyes an immediate and significant penetration into Southern California, one of the nation's most important consumer markets," said Jackson Moore, AFC's executive vice president of franchising and development. "This agreement validates AFC's strategy of converting other chicken chains to effectively compete against the market leader for national market share."
 The conversion deal gives Popeyes and AFC an increase from 17 to 96 Popeyes restaurants in Los Angeles, and brings the total number of Popeyes system-wide to more than 900 restaurants.
 "We are delighted to welcome our new franchisees into the Popeyes system," said Frank Belatti, AFC's chairman and chief executive officer. "This will be the first in a series of tremendous success stories for AFC's franchising and development in the coming months."
 The conversion process will take approximately six months and will involve both external and internal renovations.
 "Pioneer Chicken is looking at this move as a fresh start and an opportunity to grow with a well-known, well-operated international chicken chain," said Rod Jarboe, president of Pioneer Chicken. "Our company will experience substantial gain through this conversion to Popeyes, including the means to renovate all 82 of our restaurants, greater leverage in our purchasing power and efficiency in our advertising buys in the Los Angeles market."
 The conversion also gives the Pioneer chain access to other franchising support that AFC has made its hallmark under the company's first 200 days of new management, including extensive training for the crew and managers.
 Founded in 1965 in Los Angeles, Pioneer has 82 restaurants in California: three in Northern California and the remainder in the Los Angeles area. Jarboe is president of Pioneer Chicken and Gary Shepherd is executive vice president. Pioneer is owned by the United Franchise Owners, a group of 64 franchisees and other shareholders, based in Irwindale, Calif.
 Atlanta-based America's Favorite Chicken Company, the parent company of Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken & Biscuits and Church's Chicken, is the world's second-largest quick-service chicken company.
 Founded in 1972, Popeyes is the world's third-largest chicken chain with 813 restaurants, 698 of which are franchised. In addition to the United States, Popeyes has operations in Honduras, Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Panama, Jamaica, Guam, Korea, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan. Popeyes' 1992 system sales were $580 million.
 -0- 6/9/93
 /CONTACT: Ellen Hartman or McCall Clifton of Fleishman-Hillard, 404-659-4446, for America's Favorite Chicken Company/


CO: America's Favorite Chicken Company; Popeyes Famous Friend Chicken
 & Biscuits; Pioneer Chicken ST: California, Georgia IN: REA SU: TNM


BN-MM -- AT006 -- 0227 06/09/93 14:50 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 9, 1993
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