Brand Experience Brief: Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

Today’s Brand Experience Brief, video audit and analysis, is on Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, the fast food restaurant chain with a new restaurant design, focus on food, and unique internal culture.

DLYohn Brand Experience Brief: Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen from Denise Lee Yohn on Vimeo.

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Today’s brand experience brief takes a look at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.  Although Popeyes has approximately 2,000 locations across the country and internationally, its penetration in certain markets is still pretty light, so some of you may have never been to one.  And for those of you who have, this video audit and analysis may cover a thing or two you may not have noticed before.

The first thing to note is the restaurant design, which is new.  Over the last couple of years, the company has been rolling out a new design that is more evocative of New Orleans, the brand’s birthplace and inspiration.  High parapets, gooseneck lighting fixtures, and deep festive colors distinguish the exterior.  Even the drive-thru overhang has been transformed into a New Orleans-style balcony, complete with wrought iron railing.

The design theme is carried inside with exposed wood, iron railings, colorful tile and fixtures, and fun signage — but overall the restaurant has an updated look and feel thanks to big digital menu boards, a counter-height communal table in the center of the dining room, and the Coke Freestyle machine.

There are a lot of cues about the unique ingredients, menu items, and food preparation at Popeyes.  A large display of glass jars in pantry racks filled with spices and chili peppers dominates the center of the restaurant.  Signs tout Louisiana cooking and highlight certain features like real cane sugar in the ice tea and shrimp that’s been marinated in authentic Louisiana spices.  Marination seems to be a big deal at Popeyes, with its “Bonafide” fried chicken packaging explaining the product has been marinated for at least 12 hours.  Of course, price and promotional messaging was upfront on the ordering counter, as you’d expect from most fast food restaurants.

Popeyes is one of the seven brands I profile in my new book, Extraordinary Experiences: What Great Retail and Restaurant Brands Do.  I highlight them for the unique approach to culture that the company has adopted.  I explain how CEO Cheryl Bachelder and her team have focused on developing vital partnerships with their franchise operators and are cultivating a culture of servant leadership within the organization.  Since culture isn’t something a customer can see, it’s really only something you can feel, I can only report that the service at Popeyes is consistently fast and friendly, and the overall experience is consistently good.  All in all, Popeyes is an example of fast food done right.

Learn more about Popeyes and how other great retail and restaurant brands create extraordinary experiences in my new book.  Go to deniseleeyohn dot com slash extraordinary hyphen experiences to get your copy today.

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