NEW YORK (The Street) -- To satiate the appetite of investors hankering for strong profits, newly minted IPO Bojangles (BOJA) will have to dish out even more of its fan-favorite biscuits while thwarting some formidable foes who also specialize in the homey treat.

"Biscuits remind people of their grandmothers -- there's something very old-fashioned and simple about a great biscuit that puts people in a good mood," said Patty Scull, director of catering and events at Pies 'n' Thighs, a Brooklyn, N.Y., restaurant that also specializes in biscuits.

Bojangles arguably based its entire IPO roadshow on its knack for selling biscuits stuffed with meat and slathered in gravy. "The food is our star," CEO Clifton Rutledge told TheStreet TV. In early trading Friday, investors sent shares of Bojangle's up 47% to $27 a share from its IPO price of $19 a share. Shares closed at $23.75. 

According to its April 27 prospectus, Bojangles estimated comparable-store sales rose between 7.9% and 7.6% in the first quarter. That's significantly better than the 1.7% rise recorded in last year's first quarter. The chain, founded in 1977 in Charlotte, N.C., records 38% of its sales before 11 a.m., Rutledge said.

At a time when fast food giant McDonald's (MCD) is faltering among consumers for unhealthy options and poor ingredient quality, and competitors like Chipotle  (CMG) are thriving by selling "healthier" eats, the popularity of biscuits seems odd. "We'll always make room for those high-calorie items that give us something more than just a delicious taste," said Scull. "A lot of that ties into foods that evoke some kind of nostalgia or comfort." Bojangle's biscuits are baked fresh every 20 minutes, according to a 48-step recipe, and served around the clock.

Can Bojangle's satisfy Wall Street's craving for ever higher quarterly earnings by persuading more people to consume its biscuits at every hour of the day? That will depend in part on the competition. TheStreet takes a look at several of Bojangle's competitors in the business of hawking biscuits, listing calorie counts and nutrition numbers for each chain's main offering. The items are ranked with the most caloric last.

1. Red Lobster 

 

Item: Cheddar Bay Biscuit
Calories: 150
Fat: 8g
Sodium: 350mg
Carbohydrate: 16g

These biscuits are served at the table as a side and evoke Maryland-style seafood dinners more than southern biscuits with gravy.

2. Kentucky Fried Chicken

(owned by Yum! Brands (YUM))

Item: Side biscuit
Calories: 180
Fat: 8g
Sodium: 530mg
Carbohydrate: 23g

Another side item, these buttery treats are a nice complement to KFC's main offering, fried chicken. 



3. Church's Chicken

Item: Honey butter Biscuit
Calories: 240
Fat: 15g
Sodium: 540mg
Carbohydrate: 28g

These biscuits are sweetened with honey. 

4. Taco Bell

(owned by Yum! Brands)

 

Item: Chicken Biscuit Taco with Gravy
Calories: 390
Fat: 19g
Sodium: 960mg
Carbohydrate: 40g

This chicken biscuit is part of a larger move by Taco Bell to "taco-ify" many items, like its breakfast waffle taco.

5. McDonald's (MCD)

Item: Southern-style chicken biscuit
Calories: 410
Fat: 20g
Sodium: 790mg
Carbohydrate: 33g

This classic has competitors at Bojangle's, which serves sausage and steak on many of its biscuits.

6. Burger King (QSR)

Item: Sausage biscuit
Calories: 420
Fat: 27g
Sodium: 1,090mg
Carbohydrate: 32g

Burger King is only just getting into the breakfast game. This biscuit has a cousin in the restaurant's Croissantwich. 

7. Chik-fil-A

 

Item: Chicken biscuit
Calories: 440
Fat: 20g
Sodium: 1,210mg
Carbohydrate: 48g

This direct competitor to Bojangle's serves up classic southern chicken biscuits.

8. Popeye's (PLKI)

Item: Side biscuit
Calories: 260
Fat: 15g
Sodium: 450mg
Carbohydrate: 26g

This biscuit plays second fiddle to the chain's cajun chicken and is only available as a side item. 

9. Bojangles (BOJA)

Item: Bacon, egg and cheese biscuit
Calories: 549
Fat: 37g
Sodium: 1,280mg
Carbohydrate: 35g

Bojangle's is most loved by fans for its cajun chicken biscuit. Pictured above is another favorite, the bacon, egg and cheese biscuit.


10. Bob Evans (BOBE)

Item: Country biscuit breakfast
Calories: 578
Fat: 38g
Sodium: 1,463mg
Carbohydrate: 38g

This biscuit can be enjoyed sitting down -- unlike most of the biscuit joints on this list, Bob Evans is a casual dining restaurant.

11. Hardee's/Carl's Jr.

Item: Mile High Bacon Egg & Cheese Biscuit
Calories: 690
Fat: 46g
Sodium: 2,030mg
Carbohydrate: 41g

This fattiest biscuit on the list delivers about a third of the calories you need every day and nearly 85% of the sodium. 

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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