Mary Browns vs. Popeyes Franchise Comparison

Wouldn’t you rather get a sample before ordering the entire menu? If you’re hungry for fried chicken franchise opportunities, we’ve got you covered. Mary Brown’s is going head to head with Popeyes so you can get a taste of what it’s like to work with each restaurant. 

Get to Know the Franchisors

Let’s get familiar with our new potential business partners. You’ll want to know the basics, like their years of experience and what qualifications make them unique. 

Mary Brown’s 

Mary Brown’s was first established in St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, in 1969. We started out with only three stores, but as our reputation for quality, mouth-watering food grew, so did our franchise. By 2023, we’ve expanded to over 230 stores across Canada and have been in business for over 54 years and counting — that’s the kind of brand recognition you can’t buy overnight. 

For the last 17 years, we’ve seen continuous same-store sales growth – proving that our methods work! 

We’ve also won a variety of awards, including: 

  • Franchisees’ Choice Award for 12 years in a row
  • One of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for the last 4 consecutive years
  • Company of the year at 2022 Pinnacle Awards. 

One of the many business aspects we pride ourselves in is supporting the Canadian economy. We are 100% Canadian-owned and operated, and our ingredients are sourced from Canadian farmers. 


Popeyes was first known as Chicken on the Run, which opened in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1972. After a few months, the fried chicken restaurant revamped its name to the famous Popeye’s Chicken that we know today. Along with the name change, they also placed a heavier emphasis on serving specialty New Orleans-style chicken. 

In 2019 Popeyes saw 5 consecutive quarters of positive growth. By 2023, Popeyes has been in business for 51 years and have over 2,700 stores across North America. 

What’s Cooking in the Kitchen? 

In order to ensure a successful location, you’ll need to be passionate about the meals you serve. If you’re not excited about the food you’re making, your customers won’t be either. So let’s take a closer look at what’s cooking in the kitchens of each of these franchises. 

Mary Brown’s Kitchen 

All of Mary Brown’s signature Chicken products are made from Grade A Canadian chicken and are always delivered whole and fresh to each location. The chicken is hand-cut, breaded and cooked fresh in the store. We use a unique proprietary cooking method that gets our chicken perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

Our famous signature Taters are made from whole fresh potatoes that are grown by Canadian farmers – delivered in brown bags daily to each location. 

And of course, we could not go without mentioning our Big Mary Chicken Sandwich that has been noted by the Daily Hive as Canada’s favourite! 

Popeyes Kitchen 

What makes Popeyes unique is its New Orleans-style menu. The chicken gets marinated for 12 hours in bold Lousiana style seasonings and is hand battered and fried to create a special shatter crunch coating.  Their featured items include popeyes chicken tenders,  spicy chicken, and fried shrimp. 

Currently, their top trending menu options include mashed potatoes with Cajun gravy, a chicken sandwich with crispy chicken breast served on a brioche bun, and a cinnamon apple pie. 

The Costs and Requirements of Doing Business 

Fast food franchise costs are broken down into start-up (or upfront) fees and ongoing fees. A start-up fee is money you pay the franchisor before you begin your operation. These fees will go towards purchasing a license that gives you permission to use the franchise’s brand and patented procedures, construction costs, and securing financial assistance. 

Ongoing fees are a percentage of the franchisee’s gross income that gets paid to the franchisor throughout the business’s life. These fees typically go towards royalties and marketing efforts. 

Basically, start-up fees are one-time fees that are only paid when your getting your new business off the ground, and the ongoing fees get paid on a monthly basis. 

How much is a Mary Brown’s franchise

The cost to own a franchise will vary depending on location and the type of restaurant model you select. Here is a breakdown of the franchise costs associated with owning a Mary Brown’s franchise: 

Startup Fees: 

  • Franchise fee – $30,000 
  • Total average startup cost – $840,000
  • Liquid Capital – $300,000 ( to qualify for bank financing) 

Ongoing Fees: 

  • Royalties – 5% (royalties are paid monthly based on gross sales) 
  • Marketing – 4% (marketing fees are paid monthly based on gross sales) 

Although having experience running a business is considered an asset, it is not a requirement to own a Mary Browns franchise. 

How much is a Popeyes franchise

The exact costs will depend on the location and size of your franchise. Here is a breakdown of the Popeyes franchise costs. 

Start-up fees: 

  • Franchise fee – $50,000 US 
  • Minimum liquid assets – $500,000 US 
  • Minimum net worth – $1,000,000 US
  • Total average startup cost – $3,000,000 US 

Ongoing fees: 

  • Royalties – 5%
  • Advertising – 4% 

Popeyes wants their franchisees to have proven experience running a restaurant and prefer a specific background QSR chicken. They also want to see a track record of providing Southern Hospitality. 

Additional requirements include having experience in setting up or currently owning the resources to manage a business. 

The Support Your Looking For

You need to be confident that the people you’re working with have your back. Therefore, a crucial qualification you should be looking for when vetting potential franchises is how much they are willing to invest in your success. 

Marry Brown’s support and training 

With over 50+ years of experience in developing prosperous stores, we have all the tools and support you need to ensure a successful business. We are constantly innovating and staying ahead of current trends by implementing the newest technology into our system. 

 Our training programs includes: 

  • A 3-week training course that teaches you how to consistently produce and serve quality products to maintain profitability. 
  • The training will include 1 on 1 sessions, seminars, and classroom-style courses where you will learn about all aspects of the business, including: 
  • Office procedures
  • Food prep 
  • Management 
  • Hiring 

In addition to the training course, we also offer ongoing support to ensure your business starts off on the right foot and maintains success for years to come. Support is offered in the following areas: 

    • Operations – Providing continuous support for your operational procedures from when your business first opens and onwards as you continue to grow.  
    • Real estate and construction – Real estate professionals will assist you in finding the most lucrative location. And our construction team will manage the build of your location from start to finish. 
    • Marketing – Mary Browns will take care of all the t.v, radio, email campaigns, social media promotion, direct mail, coupons and other promotional material. We will even support your grand opening event by taking care of the p.r efforts to attract big crowds. 
    • Supply chains – Ensuring you always get the highest quality ingredients. 
    • Financing – We provide you with access to banking and business advisory services. 

Popeyes support and training

Popeyes offers 120 hours of training course material to help future franchisees get started.  

Start-up and ongoing support includes: 

  • Field operations 
  • Safety and security procedures 
  • Access to conventions and meetings 
  • Site selection
  • Helpline 
  • Licensed software 

Hungry for more information? Reach out to Mary Brown’s to crush your opportunity cravings.