Part of the Popeye's success story is a new re-imaging of the chain as a "Louisiana Kitchen," a makeover that's costing the company only about $100,000 per location, well below the industry average.
While the makeover is only complete at 14% of the company's locations, the change has proven to be a terrific investment, said Bachelder. The Popeye's brand is "getting back on its feet," said Bachelder, and is making money for its franchisees and getting them exciting about the chain.
Popeye's is not just a U.S. story. however. The chain is proving to be wildly successful in Turkey, of all places. Bachelder explained that Turkey has a growing middle class that loves spicy foods, making Popeye's a natural fit for that country.
Responding to today's analyst downgrade, Bachelder said that AFC reported that it has its commodity costs under control and the report failed to account for the growth potential of the company.Cramer agreed, calling AFC one of the most exciting stories in the restaurant industry.