Why Is Popeyes So Expensive (11 Reasons Why)

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Maisie Hughes

Maisie Hughes is a 20-year veteran of the culinary world. She has worked as a chef in some of the most prestigious restaurants in the country, and she currently volunteers her time at local food banks.

Recently there has been a lot of buzz about Popeyes’ high prices. Most customers are complaining that the restaurant’s meals have become too expensive.

But what has caused the high prices? Why has Popeyes become so costly? Stay on and find out!

Why Is Popeyes So Expensive?

The hike in Popeyes’ prices can be attributed to high inflation that has affected numerous commodities in the US market. The restaurant uses premium ingredients, which can only be acquired at a high cost, contributing to high prices to avoid losses. Popeyes has to maintain high-quality products and services, which are obviously pricy.

Keep reading and learn why Popeyes’ prices are higher than average!

1. Inflation

Popeyes has been offering its products at affordable prices until inflation on the essential commodities affected the entire US market, which has seen a rise in the price of poultry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, food at home prices have increased by 5.6% over the 12 months, and that of food at restaurants increased by 6.6%.

That said, the inflation rate will continue to ravage the food prices throughout 2022, as predicted by the US Department of Agriculture.

Also, meals from home will experience the highest price change. For example, a meal away from home is likely to rise from 3.5% to 4.5%.

At the same time, the cost of meals prepared at home will increase by 1.5% to 2.5%.

To maintain its customer base, Popeyes is reintroducing value meals with a sandwich, fries, and drinks to replace the under $5 removed from the menu items.

2. Expensive Cooking Ingredients

Inflation has increased the price of several items, such as cooking ingredients. For example, Popeyes acquires its cooking ingredients at a higher cost, leading to a rise in food prices.

Also, there is a sharp increase in the price of the special flour and batter system used by Popeyes to make the crispy texture loved by guests, occasioning high prices of sandwiches and nuggets.

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3. Improving The Experience

The company developed a new philosophy of “service as distinctive as the food” by implementing several tools to improve operations and the customer experience.

Therefore, to fully achieve the philosophy of epic services, Popeyes began by measuring the customer experience using a CRM tool (GEM).

Further, as the company began sharing the GEM scores with store managers, operations quickly improved, and with better service comes a higher price of food at any food restaurant.

4. Maintaining High-Quality Products And Services

Popeyes is famous because of its quality chicken sandwich. That said, the company invests most of its time and resources in making the best chicken sand without shortcuts.

Going by the quality products and services, the company adds a 50% charge fee for the labor to fairly reward workers, making the price sound more expensive.

5. High Cost Of Living

The global increase in the cost of living occasioned by high prices of everyday commodities has made Popeyes’ chains raise the price of menu items.

Averagely, the cost of goods and services rose by 7% in 2021.

6. Having One Of The Most Complicated Menus

6. Having One Of The Most Complicated Menus

There is something hidden in the Popeyes menu. Since the menu is so complicated, you would need to dig into the profitability of the items and the standard attach rate for the sales.

For instance, when you consider the combo items, they are highly profitable at any price – for a soda, the cup typically costs more than the drink within.

Further, a perceived $1 value for a soda and fries could easily be $0.80 profit – any uplift in the combo pricing from $0.20 and beyond is pure profit.

Also, the biscuits are a write off item – you make them suit average sales and throw them out at the end of the day if they don’t sell – stores are just giving them away.

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Moreover, the Chicken and Shrimp po’boys could be Popeyes’ most popular combination meal, so the inflated price milks profit on the combo items without customers noticing.

Still, another case scenario is in the chicken and catfish meal with fairly low profitability.

However, with a combo of  popcorn shrimp having a better profit catch but still, customers can’t easily dig deep to understand

Essentially, the low price distracts you from the fact that the chicken is a good catch for the company.

7. Shortage Of Human Resources

Popeyes is not the only restaurant affected by labor issues.

That said, many restaurants are experiencing the same problem, thus prompting them to raise wages and benefits to compete for the best workers.

With the increase in wages and other benefits, Popeyes decided to raise the price of its menu items to compensate and ensure the stability of the restaurant.

Further, the rapid growth of Popeyes has turned out to be a huge challenge for the company.

With many branches to run, the fast-food chain suffers a shortage of workers to keep the company running efficiently.

As a result, some of the chains recorded a drop in sales due to low traffic in the restaurants compared to other seasons.

8. Shortage Of Poultry Products

With high demand for the company’s mouth-watering Louisiana chicken sandwich, Popeyes has experienced a chicken shortage, putting the restaurant owners on stiff financial budgets.

In return, the franchise owners are forced to raise the price of wings to match the market price or ensure steadiness in price and consequently reap big revenue.

In 2021, Popeyes restaurants witnessed an upsurge in demand for the company’s crispy chicken sandwich triggering the highest number of product deliveries.

That said, this resulted in a shortage of chicken sandwiches forcing the restaurant to offer the available wings at a higher price.

9. An Increasing Online Preference

Unbeatably, Popeyes has some of the best online marketers who keep hitting home runs by knowing what exactly will resonate well with customers and create viral sensations.

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For example, Popeyes offered its customers free Netflix in the recent past, an announcement that flooded the Internet and caused a wave of excitement among the customers.

Also, the announcement made via a video shared on Twitter revealed Popeyes was offering a no–strings–attached streaming Netflix login for 1,000 customers.

With that, these are some of the heavy investments that require more resources from the company.

Additionally, to maintain the equilibrium, the value preposition automatically raises the price of Popeyes products.

10. Convenience And Accessibility

Popeyes offers convenience and accessibility to customers; most prefer to eat at a restaurant compared to home-cooked food, which is sometimes tedious.

Further, this means customers will pay for food, convenience, and accessibility, making the meal more expensive compared to home meals.

11. Disruption Of Global Chain Supply

Since the disruption of global chain supply, the impact is severe on basic components of fast-food staples.

Therefore, what followed was an upsurge in the price of products at Popeyes restaurants.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why Pizza Hut is so expensive, why Domino’s is so expensive, and why WhistlePig is so expensive.


Conclusively, the high prices of items at Popeyes can be attributed to the quality of the services and products the company strives to offer.

Also, other external factors such as low disruption in the supply chain and high inflation have forced Popeyes to hike some menu item prices.


  • Maisie Hughes

    Maisie Hughes is a 20-year veteran of the culinary world. She has worked as a chef in some of the most prestigious restaurants in the country, and she currently volunteers her time at local food banks.

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