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Popeyes Same-Store Sales Jump - Burger King and Tim Horton's Off

Restaurant Brands' Popeyes unit saw a 40% same-store-sales jump as of the third full week of May.

Popeyes reported same-store sales rose more than 40% as of the third full week of May, parent Restaurant Brands International  (QSR) - Get Report said in an SEC filing Thursday. 

The fast-fried-chicken chain improved sales sharply from a year earlier, when it reported flat year-over-year comparable sales. 

In the first quarter, Popeye's reported same-store sales growth of 29%, fueled partially by the popularity of the chicken sandwich it released in August 2019. 

That sandwich sparked a social media war between Popeye's and rivals Chick-fil-A and Shake Shack  (SHAK) - Get Report over which chain had the best sandwich, and in the process boosted sales.

Restaurant Brands' two other franchises, Burger King and Tim Horton's, both reported declines in same-store sales. Tim Horton's Canadian same-store sales fell by the mid-20s percent as of the third full week of May. 

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Meanwhile, Burger King's U.S. same-store sales fell by mid-single digits in the same period. That is an improvement from the brand's 30% decline in late March. 

Yum Brands'  (YUM) - Get Report KFC unveiled a new larger premium chicken sandwich to compete with the other brands. 

"We wanted a chicken sandwich that really lives up to our legacy as the fried chicken experts and, let’s face it, ours wasn’t the one to beat," said Andrea Zahumensky, chief marketing officer of KFC U.S.

Zahumensky said an upgrade was needed, so the Yum subsidiary revamped the sandwich ingredients to create "a chicken sandwich that won't just compete - it'll win with fried-chicken lovers everywhere."

Restaurant Brands shares at last check fell 0.8% to $55.08.