Popular fried chicken chains: The popularity of fried chicken restaurants should not be underestimated, even though burgers and fries are considered to be all-American.
A delectable delicacy is a chicken that is cooked to perfection, with the skin being crispy and the meat being tender and moist. The chicken sandwich has even become the subject of a bit of competition in recent years, with many different restaurant chains giving their unique twist on the traditional menu item.
A magazine that covers the restaurant industry, QSR, compiled a list of the most well-known chicken restaurant chains. The rating was based on annually generated sales across the entire firm in 2022. Depending on where you live, you might only be able to visit one or two restaurants. This is because not every brand is available in every single state.
Here is a list of the best fried chicken chains, along with an overview of what each chain offers.
Annual sales: $765 million
Church’s Chicken started as a little hut across the street from the world-famous Alamo. The restaurant is also known for its hand-battered, double-breaded, original, and spicy chicken. On the other hand, the eatery was a late entry to the chicken sandwichin the year 2020, when it introduced a chicken breast filet served on a brioche bun and with pickles and mayonnaise.
How about it hot? Additionally, Church’s offers a spicy version of the sandwich with side orders of jalapeo peppers. Customers can squeeze the juice of these peppers over their chicken to increase the level of spice in their dish.
El Pollo Loco
Annual sales: $1.04 billion
Although it began as a shoe store in Los Angeles, the company has since expanded into a chicken empire that spans six states in the Southwestern region and has approximately 500 locations. It is the founder Pancho Ochoa’s family recipe for citrus-marinated meat with garlic and spices that gives the chicken its “loco” (unbelievable) quality. Additionally, the company places a strong emphasis on “maximum freshness,” which “means maximum flavor.”
Annual sales: $1.6 billion
Bojangles restaurants are concentrated mainly in the Southeast region of the United States. There’s also sweet tea and Southern biscuits here, as well as spicy Cajun fried chicken. However, the fried chicken is the main attraction here. In addition to being marinated for twelve hours before being hand-breaded, it is never frozen. There is also a chicken option that is less spicy if you are concerned about the Cajun seasoning’s heat.
Annual sales: $2.38 billion
There are more than 900 Zaxby’s restaurants, and even though it is not as well-known as some of the larger chicken franchises, it nevertheless generates a significant amount of revenue from annual sales. Fried chicken fingers, chicken wings, and sandwiches are some of the items that can be found at Zaxby’s. If you enjoy spicy dipping sauces, you have arrived to the destination chain. Some of the available sauces are Nuclear and Tongue Torch.
Annual sales: $2.38 billion
Wingstop, which began operations in Garland, Texas, in 1994, has rapidly expanded to become a widely recognized brand across the globe, with more than 2,000 locations available. The wings are their selling point, even though they do provide a typical chicken sandwich. The wings are available in a dozen different flavors, each of which requires a different level of heat. In addition, if you are unsure of how many wings you will require for a dinner, they are delighted to “run the numbers” for you using their very own Wing Calculator, which takes into account the amount of hunger as well as the number of people in your party.
Annual sales: $3.12 billion
If you don’t like chicken fingers, Raising Cane’s is not for you. All of their chicken is served as chicken fingers, which are long strips that are fried until crispy. Raising Cane’s chicken sandwich uses chicken fingers instead of fat breast fillet like most chain restaurants.
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
Annual sales: $5 billion
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, which was established in 1972 in New Orleans, was not named after the muscular sailor guy, but rather after Popeye Doyle, a character from the film “The French Connection.” Popeyes is the chain that CNN attributes to being the originator of the most recent chicken sandwich conflict that has been going on among restaurants.
In 2019, the company developed a sandwich consisting of a chicken filet that has been breaded and coated with buttermilk. The sandwich is served on a toasted brioche bun with pickles and mayonnaise or spicy Cajun spread. Since then, other chicken restaurants have been clucking to catch up with this highly sought-after item.
Annual sales: $5.1 billion
People in the United States do not require an introduction to KFC, which is still known by some as Kentucky Fried Chicken, the original name of the company. In total, it operates over 24,000 locations across the globe. The recipe that the business’s founder, Harland Sanders, created is a trade secret that numerous people have tried to duplicate. To preserve the flavor, the chicken is pressure-cooked using the original recipe or extra-crispy breading.
Annual sales: $18.8 billion
Fried chicken is included in fifty percent of Chick-fil-A’s main menu items, although some people may not think of Chick-fil-A as a joint that serves fried chicken. Although some dishes on the menu are described as “pressure-cooked” on the website of the business, the pressure-cooking process takes place in a fryer system. As well as being famous for its traditional chicken sandwich, chicken nuggets, and a wide variety of sauces, the restaurant is also well-known for the fact that it is closed on Sundays, according to its policy.