Grab A BiteCover Story
August 2, 2020
Story By: Nicole Monton | Photos by: POPEYES HAWAII
Popeyes made its way to Hawaii in 1980 after Kal Uezu tried Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen in New Orleans years earlier.
“(He) fell in love with the chicken,” explains son Sean Uezu, who currently serves as Popeyes Hawaii’s president. “He felt the people of Hawaii would also love Popeyes’ Cajun flavors, so he became one of the first franchisees in the entire chain. He opened the first Popeyes Hawaii in 1980 on Keeaumoku Street.”
Four decades later and Popeyes Hawaii is operating six locations across Oahu: Kalihi, Salt Lake (Navy Exchange), Waipahu, Kapahulu, Mililani and Pearl City.
“While Popeyes is a national chain, Popeyes Hawaii is a locally owned family business,” continues Sean. “We feel fortunate that we have a culture that feels like family, especially in times of crisis like COVID-19. There’s a feeling of trust that we share with our team members, and we are all working side by side to get through this difficult time together.”
The chicken the elder Uezu fell in love with features authentic Louisiana seasoning — in fact, all poultry items are marinated in the signature spice blend for 12 hours. Then, each piece is hand-battered and breaded before it’s fried fresh.
That fried goodness is the highlight of one of Popeyes Hawaii’s most popular dishes: the Chicken Sandwich. Popeyes takes this classic to the next level by pairing the battered and fried all-white meat chicken breast filet (marinated in that authentic Louisiana seasoning, of course) with Louisiana’s own Blue Plate® Mayonnaise or Spicy Cajun spread. Top it all off with two pickles and a toasted, buttery brioche bun and you’ve got yourself a true winner.
“Our Chicken Sandwich, which launched in Hawaii last November, continues to be a favorite amongst our customers,” Sean explains.
Treat the whole family (and yourself) to this local bestseller by purchasing a 4 Sandwich Family Feast ($31) that comes with four Chicken Sandwiches, a large signature side and four buttery biscuits. And don’t forget to add on a Cinnamon Apple Pie for dessert.
In addition, look forward to limited-time offers like an 11-piece bundle that features legs/thighs, or tenders for just $20. Seafood lovers, meanwhile, will enjoy an eight-piece Butterfly Shrimp a la carte option for only $4.
Signature sides are also on the menu, including Cajun fries, red beans and seasoned rice, Cajun rice (a definite crowd pleaser), warm and fluffy biscuits, mashed potatoes with a flavorful Cajun gravy, and, finally, a crisp, cool coleslaw with a tang that so perfectly complements the restaurant’s famous chicken.
“With just the right amount of crunch, the tender, juicy chicken pairs perfectly with our buttery biscuits, and popular sides like mashed potatoes and coleslaw,” Sean explains.
“We take pride in the food we serve,” he adds.
This Biz Is On Hire
Popeyes Hawaii is hiring more than 100 full- and part-time employees at all its locations: Dillingham, Kapahulu, Mililani, Navy Exchange (NEX), Pearl City and Waipahu. “For non-managerial positions, employees can earn up to $17.50 within the ~ rst year, and managers will start with an annual salary of $75,000,” says president Sean Uezu. Even cooler? Benefits include medical, paid time o˚ , discounts on food and much more.
“Because we see our employees as an extension of our family, we do our best to ensure we provide them with good wages and benefits, a positive work environment and open communication,” he adds.
Prospective applicants can apply in-person at any Popeyes Hawaii location, or visit popeyeshawaii.com/careers.