Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is adding chocolate beignets to its menu nationwide to lure consumers to its restaurants during the holiday season.
The item is part of a broader menu strategy from the fried chicken chain, which is owned by Restaurant Brands International, to more regularly use desserts to attract customers. The only permanent dessert on its menu is the cinnamon apple pie, but Popeyes also sells limited-time dessert offerings, which are sometimes only available regionally.
Starting Monday, the beignets, which are a deep-fried pastry that Popeyes stuffed with Hershey's chocolate, are available for a limited time in three-, six- and 12-packs. The dessert is a famous staple of New Orleans, where Popeyes was founded, although the chain now is headquartered in Miami.
Popeyes tested the new item in October in Boston and a few other Northeastern markets to "particularly strong" reviews from customers, according to Sami Siddiqui, Popeyes' president of the Americas.
But he said it's unlikely to surpass the success of its chicken sandwich, which was added to menus nationwide more than a year ago. Popeyes has reported double-digit same-store sales growth every quarter since the sandwich's launch, even during the coronavirus pandemic.
"I've been in [the fast-food industry] for almost a decade now, and I don't think I've ever seen anything like the chicken sandwich across any brand, so I don't know if I want to set expectations that high," said Siddiqui.
Shares of Restaurant Brands, which has a market value of $27.9 billion, have fallen 5% so far this year. Tim Hortons, the laggard of the company's portfolio, has struggled to bring back coffee drinkers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.