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.
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.
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.
"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.