Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a account? Log In

Placer Bites: Popeyes, Papa Johns and TGI Fridays

Ethan Chernofsky
November 18, 2019
Placer Bites: Popeyes, Papa Johns and TGI Fridays

Popeyes…. Clucking Amazing

It’s difficult not to rave about how unbelievably successful Popeyes has been in the last few months. The Chicken Sandwich craze and the #chickenwars battle that ignited it was a fun summer story. But to give all of the credit to a social craze belies just how effectively Popeyes has been able to leverage the event to get to even greater heights. 

The graph below shows daily visits to Popeyes locations nationwide compared to the baseline for the period. From the relaunch on November 3rd - a day that was over 286% above the baseline for the period from January 1st, 2017 through November 8th, 2019 - traffic has been astoundingly high with the worst day coming Thursday the 7th with a percentage only 188.1% above the baseline. Visits then returned to their full glory on Friday the 8th at 245.9% above the baseline, losing out to only the highest point of the summer craze in August. This means that somehow, the second coming of the sandwich outpaced the initial buzz and excitement.

And while this is already enough to deserve praise, it comes from a foundation built for long-term success.

Popeyes will be hard-pressed to sustain this level of interest, but even a return to the norm is a strong proposition. The company has been on an impressive trajectory in 2019 with only two months seeing traffic below the mark set on the same month a year prior. This speaks to a powerful combination of steady growth with the ability to produce massive home runs. If Popeyes proves capable of finding other elements of magic in their product line - even if they don’t reach the extravagant levels of August and November 2019 - there are ample reasons to feel very good about their long term prospects.

Essex Crossing’s Glowing Potential

When we looked at Essex Crossing earlier this year we noted a project that had just hit a May high point, and a positive trend that promised exciting potential. Digging back in several months later has only reinforced the excitement. Essex Crossing has continued to drive interest with visits reaching a new peak in July 2019 at over 550,000 visitors. The tremendous growth is highlighted by significant Year-over-Year growth each month in 2019 thus far. Even more impressively, the location looks poised for even greater things.

Looking at the last 6 months of visits from February through October shows a very interesting trend when comparing Essex Crossing with the more highly touted Hudson Yards. While the latter certainly has more visits over the period and a greater tourist appeal, Essex Crossing benefits from serving as a local hot spot. Over 50% of visitors come from within 5 miles, vastly more than the 22.54% seen by Hudson Yards. 

This speaks to two critical factors working in Essex Crossing’s favor. Firstly, the local haunt status will only be bolstered by new stores and new residential buildings scheduled for opening through the early 2020s. These openings will expand the local audience the site has proved so adept at attracting. Secondly, Essex Crossing was developed with the aim of seamlessly integrating with the area - both from a design and social perspective. The hope was this local approach would create a sustainable stream of visits that don’t rely on tourism or a certain visitor persona to succeed.

And this looks like it’s working. While Hudson Yards traffic certainly outpaces Essex Crossing, at the end of the tourism summer peak, several days in October showed visit rates that were nearly equal if not outright privileging Essex Crossing. While Essex Crossing does grow month over month, it has strong regular, daily traffic giving it a huge asset with consistent traffic flows.

Chains on the Rise?

Two national chains that have been under increased scrutiny of late are Papa Johns (PZZA) and TGI Fridays. The former is still on the mend after a series of controversies negatively impacted performance in 2018 and early 2019. Yet, Q3 performance actually showed positive signs for the first time this year. Visits in July and August were up 4.5% and 6.1% above the baseline in 2019, above the 3.3% and 5.2% numbers for the same months in 2018. 

The movement is a positive reflection as in-store visits can be the highest intent signals a brand gets.

On the other hand, TGI Fridays recently announced a merger guided by the express intent of taking the company public. While the Papa Johns may have enjoyed a Q3 rebound, TGI Fridays seems to be struggling with a malady plaguing the wider Fast Casual sector - significantly declining visits. 2019 has been a difficult one for the brand thus far, with each month seeing lower traffic than the year before. While a rebound is by no means out of the question, the turnaround will have to be significant in order to right the ship ahead of a public offering.

What else can location analytics tell you about these projects and brands? Visit to find out.

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
The CAVA Craze: A Location Intelligence Perspective on the Mediterranean Marvel
How Will Primark’s US Expansion Impact Target?
All Eyes on Eyewear
Northwestern U.S. Grocery Dive
Return of the Lunch: Salad Chains Are Thriving
Retail Media Networks – Off the Beaten Track
Bet Your Bottom Dollar: Discount and Dollar Stores Drive Foot Traffic
Ulta & Lululemon: Discretionary Spending On The Up
The Score After Q1: Sporting Goods Chains
Who Uses NYC Airports: Biting Into The Big Apple’s Main Transport Hubs
Off Price: Strength in The Face of Retail Challenges
Visits Improve for Home Improvement
Walmart, Target & Wholesalers in Q1 2023 – The Return of Mission-Driven Shopping?
Department Store Roundup: Q1 2023 Office Index: April 2023 Recap Mall Index, April 2023 – A Rebound on the Horizon?
How Will Bed Bath & Beyond’s Bankruptcy Impact the Retail Space?
Buffet Restaurants: Filling Up on Foot Traffic
Thrift Stores: Vintage Visits Drive New Age in Apparel
The Windy City: A Hub of Post-Pandemic Opportunity
Diving into Dining Traffic - Q1 2023
Bring On The Joe
A Dollar (or more) For Your Thoughts: Five Below and pOpshelf
Dining Out With The Cheesecake Factory
Retail Foot Traffic Recap – March 2023
Digging Into 2023: McDonald’s and Chipotle Update Office Index: March 2023 Recap
How Did Key Retail Categories Perform in Q1 2023?
Northeastern USA Grocery Dive
Movie Theaters Storylines for 2023
Ollie's Bargain Outlet: Discounters are Evolving
Leveraging Brick-and-Mortar Retail in 2023
America’s Evolving Work Patterns: A Deep-Dive into New York and Chicago Mall Index March 2023
Tuning Into Record Stores
Five Franchises To Watch in 2023
What’s Next For Domestic Tourism?
It’s Showtime! Movie Theaters in the Spotlight
5 Limited Time Offers (LTOs) Driving Restaurant Traffic
Department Store Deep-Dive: Belk
Regional Grocery Chains Staying Ahead of the Competition
Five Chains that Rightsized for Success
Unlocking the Potential of Offline Retail Media Networks
Dining Out With Darden
What’s in Store for Self-Storage?
Nike & lululemon Update: Strong Performance Amid Expansion Plans
Many Ways to Win: Midwest Grocery Deep Dive
Retail, Reinvented: The Rise of the Pop-Up Shop
Navigating a New Normal in Business Travel & Commutes Office Index: February 2023 Recap
Retail Categories Staying Strong in Volatile Environment
Ulta Beauty: Poised for Success into 2023 Mall Index February 2023: Reasons for Continued Optimism
Catching Up With DICK’s & Hibbett
The Miami-Dade Arena: An Advertising Slam Dunk
Car Washes Revving Up Visits
Tuesday Morning and Sunrises in Home Furnishing
Dining & Valentine’s Day Recap
2023: The Year of the Discount Store
Aldi’s Success Highlights Growing Demand for Value Groceries
5 Retail & Service Categories Holding onto Pandemic Gains in 2023
Visitor Insights from Super Bowl 2023
2023 First Look: Home Improvement Update
How Are Target, Walmart, and Wholesale Clubs Faring in 2023?
Department Store Deep-Dive: Nordstrom
Off-Price: Taking Off in Uncertain Times
Checking in On Middle-Class Hubs
Who Attends the Super Bowl? Office Index: January 2023 Recap
Focusing On Fitness: Q4 and January Recap Mall Index: January 2023 – Returning Mall Normalcy?
Location Intelligence Insights Into Concert Attendance
Winning Dining Strategies for 2023
In-N-Out Burger: What to Expect as the Brand Moves East
Location Intelligence Breakdown: Coffee Caps-Off 2022
Digitally Native Brands Lean Into Brick & Mortar
Washington, D.C. Population Changes & Migration Trends
A Location Intelligence Perspective on Macy’s Rightsizing
Amazon-Powered Shopping: The Future of Brick-and-Mortar Grocery?
Cold Weather, Hot Visits: Diving into Winter Resorts
Wawa and 7-Eleven: Leaning Into the “Slurpee Effect”
2022 and Beyond: Catching Up With McDonald’s & Chipotle
Let’s Have Some Fun! Going Out Is In’s Q4 2022 Quarterly Index Adds Industry Executives to Leadership Team To Drive Company's Next Phase of Growth
5 Emerging Retail Formats: 2023’s Brick-and-Mortar Evolution
Grocery Update: Zooming in on the Lone Star State
2022 Office Recap: The Year of the TGIF Work Week
What Lies Ahead for Brick-and-Mortar Luxury in 2023 Mall Indexes: December 2022 Recap
Looking Back on 2022’s Holiday Shopping Season
Post-Pandemic Migration Trends in New York
Top Retailers for 2023
The Live Sports Advertising Opportunity
Domestic Migration to the Mountain States: Small Shifts with Big Implications
New Year, New Food: 5 Dining Trends For 2023
This is Why Shop-in-Shops Are Everywhere
Super Saturday 2022 Recap
The San Francisco Shift