This past October, three employees of the Statesboro Popeyes Chicken restaurant brought home a “world” title. The threesome beat three teams in the Popeyes Bowl final to claim the franchise wide championship.
“It’s a pretty wonderful accomplishment when you consider that we were able to beat teams that included one from Korea,” said Tonyha Williams, operations director of the Popeyes in Statesboro. “Popeyes has almost 2,000 restaurants, so in essence, we finished in front of all of them.”
The Statesboro Popeyes is a single franchise restaurant owned by local residents John and Cyndi Kohn. John Kohn said the fact that he and his wife own just one restaurant makes the accomplishment all that more amazing.
“There are many franchisees that own 20 to 30 units,” he said. “They have tremendous numbers of personnel to pull from. We just have one restaurant, so that is a testament to the dedication of the employees here.”
Williams said the Popeyes Bowl is a competition which uses a format modeled after the nationally syndicated Jeopardy television game show.
“The questions come from the training and operation manuals used by each Popeyes,” she said. “These questions are very detailed covering everything from frying and marinating times to the different types of thermometers that are used and how they are maintenanced.”
Held during the annual meeting of Popeyes corporate and its franchisees, the Popeyes Bowl allows employees to demonstrate their understanding of Popeyes and its procedures.
“The Popeyes Bowl is a fun way for Popeyes crew members to brush up on operation knowledge,” said Jackie Tate is Communications Manager for Popeyes® Chicken & Biscuits. “The purpose is to encourage all restaurant crew members to study the Restaurant Operating Manual and be familiar with every aspect of our procedures.”
Tate said the teams compete at divisional levels then regional levels yielding the final four teams representing four regions.
“The global competition consisted of four teams representing the international region (Korea), eastern region (Statesboro, Ga.), central region (Omaha, Ne.), and western region (Oklahoma City, Ok.),” Tate said. “This years final competition was in Orlando, Fl.”
The Statesboro Popeyes team consisted of manager, Alex Miller, and crew members Tonda Brown, and Garland Robinsion. Miller had competed in the Bowl the year before as a crew member, not a manager.
“I went through management training this year which allowed me to lead the team as a manager,” Miller said. “It meant a lot to me to return as a manager and actually win. The year before, we finished in second place. This year we won it all. I was extremely proud.”
John Kohn said he was “tickled pink” with his franchise’s results.
“I was there in Orlando to watch it all happen,” Kohn said. “It was thrilling to see Alex as a crew manager lead the team to victory. Here is a young man who started off on the line as a crew member, and he as worked hard and developed as a manager. That is really what is thrilling about all of this – to watch our employees develop and succeed.”
Kohn said the members of the team were awarded leather jackets and watches to commemorate the event as well as a monetary award.
Miller said the final question posed to the competitors was – When calibrating a thermometer, which method should you use first? The answer according to Miller – low range.
AFC Enterprises, Inc. is the franchisor and operator of Popeyes® Chicken & Biscuits, the world's second-largest quick-service chicken concept based on number of units. Popeyes has more than 1,800 restaurants in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and 25 foreign countries.