Richard Lynch, Popeyes
Richard H. (Dick) Lynch, chief brand officer for Popeyes, plans to step down.

ATLANTA — Richard H. (Dick) Lynch, chief brand officer for Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, will step down following the close of the company’s acquisition by Restaurant Brands International, Inc. Mr. Lynch is the second Popeyes executive to make such an announcement within the past month. On March 2, Cheryl Bachelder, chief executive officer, said she will resign at the closing of the transaction.

“Dick has been a catalyst for Popeyes remarkable growth over the past nine years” Ms. Bachelder said. “His relentless focus on creating a product that our guests crave, coupled with his ability to recognize and develop talent at the restaurant support center, have been invaluable to the success of the brand.”

Mr. Lynch was responsible for Popeyes’ brand transformation, the company said, which focused the chain on its Louisiana heritage. This emphasis affected the business’s culinary innovation, marketing, advertising, employee experience, guest experience, communications and investor relations.

During Mr. Lynch’s nine years with Popeyes, the chain launched 33 new products tied to the culinary heritage of Louisiana and introduced a national marketing strategy featuring Popeyes’ spokesperson, Annie. In those nine years, the Popeyes brand experienced eight consecutive years of same-store sales growth, a 10% jump in guest satisfaction and a 45% increase in top-line annual unit volumes to $1.45 million from $1 million. Popeyes’ share price has moved from $7.55 to the purchase price of $79, an increase of 946%, the company said. Additionally, the Popeyes system has grown from 1,860 locations to nearly 2,700 in 2016.

Daniel Schwartz, Restaurant Brands International
Daniel Schwartz, c.e.o. of Restaurant Brands International

“The health of the Popeyes brand, along with sustainable Louisiana brand differentiation led by Dick and his team, were among the factors that drew our attention to Popeyes,” said Daniel Schwartz, c.e.o. of Restaurant Brands International. “Lynch leaves behind a legacy of success and growth. He and his team have laid a firm foundation upon which the brand can continue to grow for years to come.”

Mr. Lynch has been working with the incoming leadership team to ensure marketing and brand continuity through the transition, Popeyes said. He has been involved in the development of Popeyes’ marketing succession plan, including the selection process for its new chief marketing officer.