It has been on some Manitoban’s list for a while of restaurants they would like to see come to Winnipeg and now it has been confirmed: A spokesmen says Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen are in discussions for locations within the city in 2015/2017. The company has been in Canada since 1984 when they opened a location in Toronto and next to KFC has one of the most extensive network of locations around the world. However, they have never been to Winnipeg.
Popeye’s was founded in Louisiana in 1972 and today is noted for a spicier Cajun fare compared to other chicken restaurants.
There has been a pull back of chicken restaurants from the Winnipeg market in recent years. Both KFC and Winnipeg-based Chicken Delight have all retrenched a bit in the Winnipeg market.
The restaurant industry is a tough market even for well known franchises. Still, we have see Five Guys, Fat Burger and Famous Dave’s all set up and continue here. Woody’s Southern Barbecue failed though.
Location will likely be a big factor for the success of Popeyes. The construction of Seasons of Tuxedo continues and there are over a dozen pad spaces for restaurants so it is extremely likely we will see something in the Kenaston area.
Winnipeg continues to be attractive to retailers and restaurants looking to set up in the city although the failure of Target, falling oil prices and lower dollar has made many cautious. Still, Popeyes has been in the market for some time in Canada and they seem to believe that the time is ripe. Expect to hear announcements soon!
Currently, the closest Popeye’s Chicken location to Winnipeg is in Fargo, North Dakota.
This has been a guest editorial by John Dobbin.
To read more from John, visit his blog Observations, Reservations, Conversations