Popeyes arrives in Prague with fried chicken and big excitement

The US fast-food giant opened its doors to queues on Wenceslas Square this morning. We were among the first tasters.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 03.11.2023 17:02:00 (updated on 04.11.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

U.S. fast-food chain Popeyes has officially arrived in the Czech Republic, opening its doors in Prague's bustling Wenceslas Square. The grand opening drew queues of eager customers Friday morning.

If there’s any doubt that Czechs love fried chicken, some of those customers lined up for over 24 hours – lured by the promise of a free chicken sandwich for the first 100 customers to walk through the door. The first three people to enter Popeyes were rewarded with a free one-year supply of chicken sandwiches.

Are the lines an early indicator of the company's promising future? Or perhaps a comment on globalization’s extensive reach? In any case, we were eager to see how Louisiana-style chicken translates in the land of kuřecí řízek.

Bringing free refills and Cajun flavors to Czechia

The maiden Prague Popeyes branch occupies the bottom floor of Czechia’s Dům módy (House of Fashion) opposite the Muzeum metro station. It’s spacious – it has two floors, complete with “family” and small tables – comprising over 100 seats in an area of over 700 square meters. Touchscreens stand near the main entrance for ease of ordering.

The core menu at Popeyes has remained consistent since its establishment in 1972. Nevertheless, Popeyes global head chef Peter Genna told us that certain items have been tailored to cater to the Central and East European palettes, particularly the coleslaw and sweet-and-spicy voodoo wings.

He added that enthusiasm for spicy chicken in European countries, including Poland, where Popeyes recently entered the market, was greater than anticipated – a trend he assumes will hold true for Prague.

The Czech menu features original creations like voodoo sauce, Nola sauce (a New Orleans-style dip), and the Cajun red bean burger. Vegetarians and vegans, beware: there are no meatless options here.


At the Prague branch, in addition to the signature chicken sandwich, available in standard and deluxe versions, visitors can dig into Louisiana wings, Cajun fries, fillet nuggets, chicken tenders, supreme fries (topped with cheese), and the Popeyes biscuit. The menu also offers unlimited free refills for soft drinks, and, for dessert, a coconut premium milkshake.


  • A chicken sandwich will cost you CZK 119, and a meal (including a side and unlimited-refill drink) is CZK 179. You can get it in both original and spicy versions
  • The deluxe version of the chicken sandwich – with more fillings, including cheese – will cost CZK 139 alone and CZK 199 as part of a meal.
  • Three pieces of Popeyes’ “signature chicken” cost CZK 150, three spicy Louisiana wings will set you back CZK 89, and five “classic wings” cost CZK 95.
  • A 400-milliliter coconut premium shake costs CZK 79.
  • The kids’ meal – consisting of four chicken nuggets, fries, and juice – costs CZK 120.

Taste test

We found the spicy chicken wings and sandwiches particularly tasty. Portions were large and flavorful. A favorite was the spicy Louisiana wings – covered in voodoo sauce – as well as the supreme fries. Compared to KFC, the chicken pieces appeared around the same size – but crispier and flakier.

Customers can also order varying sizes of burgers and kids' menus. One meal that is sure to stand out is the Coleslaw Chicken Sandwich, which incorporates Central Europe’s fondness for cabbage. A wide range of sauces are available – from the sweet-flavored Mardi Gras to tangy blackened ranch – for extra kick.

The Popeyes Biscuit side, a flaky, buttermilk biscuit, is a filling addition to any meal, and can be ordered with honey for a sweeter touch.

After indulging in copious amounts of food, the option for unlimited refills was certainly a welcome, thirst-quenching option. You can choose from all the classic soft drinks, and even opt for homemade lemonade (although, unfortunately, this is not limitless.)

Popeyes: A brief history

  • Founded in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1972.
  • Its founder, Al Copeland, based the name of the company on a character from the 1971 film French Connection, rather than – as often misconceived – the Popeye cartoon character.
  • However, the Popeye fictional character was heavily utilized for marketing and advertising reasons in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
  • The apostrophe on the “Popeyes” name is missing because, Copeland claimed, he did not have enough money to pay for signage.
  • The chain plans to have 60 branches in Czechia and 190 in Poland in the next 10 years.
  • Popeyes has over 4,000 restaurants worldwide in more than 32 countries.

Popeyes and KFC face off at Wenceslas Square

Popeyes lies directly opposite its main competitor: KFC. At a press conference, Marko Blaževič, President of Popeyes CEE, said he believes there is still very much space in the market for Popeyes despite competition from other fast-food chains.

“Just because there are a lot of other fast-food options out there, it does not mean we will be any less popular. The likes of Burger King, McDonald’s, and KFC are all performing very well despite competing,” he said. He added that Czechs do indeed love fried chicken.

"Our market research found that Czechs simply love fried chicken, and so moving here was likely to be a good option."

Chef Genna was hesitant to make comparisons between KFC and Popeyes.

"We see ourselves as being different to KFC. We have a greater focus on chicken types and texture, and also offer more spicy options,” Genna said. "Popeyes specializes in Louisiana-style fried chicken marinated for at least 12 hours in our classic and spicy seasonings, as well as our boldly flavored side dishes like our Cajun fries and coleslaw," the U.S. chef also remarked.

Future fried-chicken empire?

Popeyes has seen a huge surge in popularity in recent years. In the last two years in Europe alone, the chain has opened over 100 restaurants across over five different countries. It aims to harness this momentum across Czechia.

Four new Popeyes locations are planned to open in Czechia next year, including one in Prague 1’s iconic Máj department store. Toward the end of this year, the company will open a branch on the D7 highway just outside of Prague, while Brno will get its first Popeyes in early 2024.

The company has no immediate plans to offer delivery – despite signing a one-year exclusive contract with Wolt – and plans to leverage Prague's diverse international population and high tourist traffic for its success.

Whether or not Popeyes will become a mainstay in Czechia remains to be seen. The company hopes to attract the attention of Americans and Brits residing in Prague who are likely to be well-acquainted with the brand.

According to Genna, Popeyes’ roots in the U.S. are part of its appeal. “We’re one of the only fast-food chains nowadays where you can still track its local roots in today’s production process," he says.

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