Popeyes Sales Surprise Helped by Stay-at-Home Fried Chicken Fans

(Bloomberg) -- The people have spoken. And they want fried chicken late at night -- preferably without leaving the comfort of their homes.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, the fast-food chain owned by Restaurant Brands International Inc., posted a surprise gain in same-store sales in the U.S. last quarter.

Helping the business? Dinner and post-dinner delivery orders. While the service is only offered in “several hundred” domestic Popeyes so far, the company is accelerating the rollout of delivery across the U.S. in the coming months. That may let it better compete with McDonald’s Corp., which has been using UberEats to bring Big Macs directly to diners’ homes.

“Consumers have particularly enjoyed using the delivery channel to purchase Popeyes products for the dinner and for the late-night day parts,” Chief Executive Officer Daniel Schwartz said on a conference call Tuesday. Orders at those times of day “typically involve larger check sizes,” he said.

Schwartz says he’s encouraged by the results and intends to “meaningfully broaden our test in the coming months.”

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