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|Founded||April 17, 1952|
|Headquarters||Sandy Springs, Georgia, U.S.|
|Number of locations||1,700|
|Key people||George W. Church, Founder
Jim Hyatt, CEO
|Products||Fast food, including fried chicken, french fries, and biscuits|
Church's Chicken is a US-based chain of fast food restaurants specializing in fried chicken, also trading outside North America as Texas Chicken. The chain was founded as Church's Fried Chicken To Go by George W. Church, Sr., on April 17, 1952, in San Antonio, across the street from The Alamo. The company, with its headquarters in Sandy Springs, Georgia, is the fourth-largest chicken restaurant chain behind KFC, Chick-fil-A, and former sister chain Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits.
Initially, the restaurant sold only chicken, but fries and jalapeños were added in 1955. The company had four restaurants when Church died in 1956. Rapid growth followed, and Church's became the second-largest chicken restaurant chain in 1989, when it merged with Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits. The brands had their supply lines consolidated, but were still marketed as separate chains. Hala Moddelmog was appointed as president of Church's Chicken in 1996, making her the first female president of a fast-food restaurant chain.
Church's was owned by AFC Enterprises, along with Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits and Cinnabon, through the end of 2004, when it was sold to Arcapita (formerly Crescent Capital Investments). Because Arcapita is an Islamic venture capital firm, pork products were removed from the menu after the sale (as pork is not halal) in 2005. Also, American Church's Chicken restaurants switched beverage products to Coca-Cola (some locations serving Coke products and Dr Pepper), while still retaining the Pepsi contract in Canada.
In some areas, Church's is co-franchised with the White Castle hamburger chain. In Canada, Church's Chicken items were once available in Harvey's restaurants, but the co-venture was discontinued.
To date, Church's Chicken has over 1,660 locations in 26 countries. There are some locations within Honduras, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Canada, Guyana, Mexico, Indonesia, St. Kitts, Russia, Georgia (Tbilisi), Ukraine, Kazakhistan, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Singapore, ST.Lucia, Syria, Venuzuela, Vietnam, Kuwait, Malayasia, Trinidad&Tribago, Curacao and Jordan.
The menu for Church's has greatly expanded with fried okra, cole slaw, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and honey butter biscuits being staples. Also, newer entree choices have emerged, including, sandwiches, nuggets, tacos and a spicy flavor option for the chicken.
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