Ed’s Note: We dropped in on Popeyes Sandton City and Sheraaz did not know that we were media and neither was he expecting us. So this was completely off the cuff. And well done to him too! I would definitely say that Popeyes have a real gem in having him as such a hands on manager.
From the moment myself and Kristen Preston arrived at the counter to the time we left the well appointed and bright upstairs seating area, our experience was the best I have had at a take away. Snuggled in the middle of the food court at Sandton City, Popeye is a busy and noisy place. It has a system whereby the food from order to take way is no longer then 180 seconds. A tall order for any take away.
We ordered a couple of combos including tenders with their battered chips and soft mash with gravy and chicken and of course dips. Firstly I was amazed by the fact that the manager was working with his staff in the front making sure the food went swiftly from the pass and birdcage to the customer.
When I asked a question of the server he quickly jumped in and Sheraaz with a bright smile and cheer in his voice was more than happy to not only answer my question but went on to tell me the history of Popeye. Once we received our food he came upstairs to check if the meal had met our expectations. That in itself deserves 5 stars. The chicken is cooked to perfection and there is NO DRIPPING OIL!!!! The batter was crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. The dips were great and the spicy chicken was my favourite. Kristen preferred the plain batter.
As a Louisana USA brand the rules and regulations are quite strict and the three current stores, Sandton, Menlyn and Eastgate are doing very well in keeping those standards. Managers sit a 36 hour exam and need to know everything there is to know about the brand, the standards and how to run the store. They have a wide range of fillets for the burgers, tenders with dips, nuggets for the kids and an all you can drink soda fountain. They serve around 300-400 customers a day on a normal day and when they get busy on Friday and Saturday then its between 500 and 600. The food is all Halaal Certified.
The story behind the brand can be found on www.popeyes.co.za where it all started 45 years ago. Forty-five years ago in New Orleans, Louisiana, a taste sensation was born. What began with one small restaurant and one big idea turned into a craze that swept the nation—and the world.