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.
Holding Your Liquor
Liquor stocks have been on fire as of late, Cramer told viewers, but of the three major players, Brown-Forman ( BFB), Beam ( BEAM) and Diageo ( DEO), there can be only one true winner. There's been a transformation going on in the liquor business, Cramer explained. People are drinking less and less beer and instead opting for liquor and cocktails. That explains why shares of Brown Forman are up 34% over the past 12 months, with Beam coming in at 37% and Diageo at 39%. Cramer said all three of these companies have great brands and great growth potential around the globe, which makes choosing the best a matter of coming down to just the numbers. After crunching the numbers, Cramer concluded that Diageo is winner of the liquor wars. He said the company is not only the largest, which means it generates the most cash for its shareholders, it also has the biggest dividend yield at 2.5%. Diageo trades at just 16 times earnings, compared to Forman at 21 times and Beam at 22.6 times.