July 29, 2021

Zaika

Livingston

Church’s Chicken is known as Texas Chicken in other countries

14 min read

Photo of Craig Hlavaty

Church’s Chicken, founded in 1952 in San Antonio, has a slightly different name outside the Americas.

In countries as varied as Belarus, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq and New Zealand, Church’s is known as Texas Chicken. The logo doesn’t look much different, but the menu does differ depending on the market. World travelers have likely done a double take while walking by a Texas Chicken, noticing the same brand colors and fonts.

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Back in 2015 the Munchies food blog, a Vice creation, reported on the brand name difference when a consumer noticed the “Church’s” name on a prepackaged item. Texas Chicken Malaysia explained to a worried consumer that they were not affiliated with any religion and that the name was the founder’s surname. They also needed to quell worries that the food was not halal.

Founder George W. Church Sr. opened his first chicken stand in 1952 in downtown San Antonio. One of the first groundbreaking moves the chain made was making jalapenos a side item. By the next decade there were over 100 location across seven states.


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However, brand names don’t always translate overseas. Customers in the United States don’t equate Church’s with holy rollers frying chicken and slinging honey-butter biscuits and mashed potatoes, although the eatery is a popular after-church choice for many.

It’s just a name to American consumers. The brand name Texas Chicken, though, does have a hearty and somewhat-wholesome connotation overseas, evoking cowboys and roughnecks chowing down on chicken and sides after a long day at work.

The first Texas Chicken opened its doors in Indonesia in the 1980s. Menus vary in other countries. Texas Chicken in Malaysia serves chicken burgers and a variety of desserts.

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According to its most recent press release Church’s and Texas Chicken have over 1,650 locations in 25 countries across the world, raking in nearly $1 billion.

Rightfully so, jalapeno cheese bombers appear to be popular in most every market across the planet.

The chain is now owned by San Francisco private equity firm Friedman Fleischer & Lowe and is headquartered in Atlanta. The previous owners, a firm named Arcapita, focuses on investments that “comply with Shari’ah principles” and in 2005 it removed pork products from the menus. Friedman Fleischer & Lowe purchased the chicken chain in 2009.

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