Component: (Network and Table)
0402 - Disclosure - Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)
Slicers (applies to each fact value in each table cell)
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies [Abstract]Period [Axis]
2012-01-01 - 2012-12-30
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies [Abstract]
Principles of Consolidation

Principles of Consolidation. The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of AFC and its wholly-owned subsidiaries. All significant intercompany balances and transactions are eliminated in consolidation.

Use of Estimates

Use of Estimates. The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) requires the Company’s management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities. These estimates affect the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during each reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

Fiscal Year

Fiscal Year.  The Company has a 52/53-week fiscal year that ends on the last Sunday in December. Fiscal year 2012 consisted of 53 weeks. The 2011 and 2010 fiscal years both consisted of 52 weeks.

Cash and Cash Equivalents

Cash and Cash Equivalents. The Company considers all money market investment instruments and certificates of deposit with original maturities of three months or less to be cash equivalents. Under the terms of the Company’s bank agreements, outstanding checks in excess of the cash balances in the Company’s primary disbursement accounts create a bank overdraft liability. Bank overdrafts were insignificant for both fiscal years 2012 and 2011.

Supplemental Cash Flow Information

Supplemental Cash Flow Information.



(in millions)


  2012     2011     2010  

Interest paid

  $ 2.9     $ 2.4     $ 6.4  

Corporate office lease tenant improvement allowances and incentives


Property acquired under capital lease obligation


Income taxes paid, net

    12.5       10.6       10.3  
Accounts Receivable, Net

Accounts Receivable, Net.  At December 30, 2012 and December 25, 2011, accounts receivable, net were $7.3 million and $7.0 million, respectively. Accounts receivable consist primarily of amounts due from franchisees related to royalties, and rents, and various miscellaneous items. The accounts receivable balance is stated net of an allowance for doubtful accounts. The Company reserves a franchisee’s receivable balance based upon pre-defined aging criteria and upon the occurrence of other events that indicate that it may or may not collect the balance due. During 2012, 2011, and 2010, changes in the allowance for doubtful accounts were as follows:



(in millions)


  2012     2011     2010  

Balance, beginning of year

  $ 0.6     $ 1.2     $ 2.1  

Provisions for credit recoveries (losses)

    (0.1     (0.3     (0.5


    (0.3     (0.3     (0.4

Balance, end of year

  $ 0.2     $ 0.6     $ 1.2  
Notes Receivable, Net

Notes Receivable, Net.  Notes receivable consist of notes from franchisees to finance certain past due franchise revenues and rents. The notes receivable balance is stated net of an allowance for uncollectible amounts which is evaluated each reporting period on a note-by-note basis. At December 30, 2012 and December 25, 2011, all notes receivable were fully reserved. The balance in the allowance account at both December 30, 2012 and December 25, 2011, was approximately $0.9 million.


Inventories.  Inventories are stated at the lower of cost (first-in, first-out method) or net realizable value and consist principally of food, beverage items, paper and supplies. At December 30, 2012 and December 25, 2011, inventories of $0.5 million and $0.4 million, respectively, were included as a component of “Other current assets.”

Property and Equipment

Property and Equipment.  Property and equipment is stated at cost less accumulated depreciation.

Provisions for depreciation are made using the straight-line method over an asset’s estimated useful life: 7-35 years for buildings; 5-15 years for equipment; and in the case of leasehold improvements and capital lease assets, the lesser of the economic life of the asset or the lease term (generally 3-20 years). During 2012, 2011, and 2010, depreciation expense was approximately $4.0 million, $3.7 million, and $3.3 million, respectively.

The Company evaluates property and equipment for impairment during the fourth quarter of each year or when circumstances arise indicating that a particular asset may be impaired. For property and equipment at company-operated restaurants, annual impairment evaluations are performed on an individual restaurant basis. The Company evaluates restaurants using a “two-year history of operating losses” as our primary indicator of potential impairment. The Company evaluates recoverability based on the restaurant’s forecasted undiscounted cash flows for the expected remaining useful life of the unit, which incorporate our best estimate of sales growth and margin improvement based upon our plans for the restaurant and actual results at comparable restaurants. The carrying values of restaurant assets that are not considered recoverable are written down to their estimated fair market value, which are generally measured by discounting estimated future cash flows.

Goodwill, Trademarks, and Other Intangible Assets

Goodwill, Trademarks, and Other Intangible Assets.  Amounts assigned to goodwill arose from the allocation of reorganization value when the Company emerged from bankruptcy in 1992 and from business combinations accounted for by the purchase method. Amounts assigned to trademarks arose from the allocation of reorganization value when the Company emerged from bankruptcy in 1992. These assets are deemed indefinite-lived assets and are not amortized for financial reporting purposes. See Note 6 for further disclosure.

The Company’s finite-lived intangible assets (primarily re-acquired franchise rights) are amortized on a straight-line basis over 10 to 20 years based on the remaining life of the original franchise agreement or lease agreement.

The Company evaluates goodwill and trademarks for impairment on an annual basis (during the fourth quarter of each year) or more frequently when circumstances arise indicating that a particular asset may be impaired. The impairment evaluation for goodwill includes a comparison of the fair value of each of the Company’s reporting units with their carrying value. The Company’s reporting units are its business segments. Goodwill is allocated to each reporting unit for purposes of this analysis. Goodwill associated with bankruptcy reorganization value is assigned to reporting units using a relative fair value approach. Goodwill associated with a business combination is allocated to the reporting unit or a component of the reporting unit expected to benefit from the synergies of the combination. The fair value of each reporting unit is the amount for which the reporting unit could be sold in a current transaction between willing parties. The Company estimates the fair value of its reporting units using a discounted cash flow model. The operating assumptions used in the discounted cash flow model are generally consistent with the reporting unit’s past performance and with the projections and assumptions that are used in the Company’s current operating plans. Such assumptions are subject to change as a result of changing economic and competitive conditions. If a reporting unit’s carrying value exceeds its fair value, goodwill is written down to its implied fair value. The Company follows a similar analysis for the evaluation of trademarks, but that analysis is performed on a consolidated basis. During 2012, 2011, and 2010, there was no impairment of goodwill or trademarks identified during the Company’s annual impairment testing.

Costs incurred to renew or extend the term of recognized intangibles are expensed as incurred and reported as a component of “General and administrative expenses.”

Fair Value Measurement

Fair Value Measurements.  Fair value is the price the Company would receive to sell an asset or pay to transfer a liability (exit price) in an orderly transaction between market participants. For those assets and liabilities recorded or disclosed at fair value, we determine fair value based upon the quoted market price, if available. If a quoted market price is not available for identical assets, we determine fair value based upon the quoted market price of similar assets or the present value of expected future cash flows considering the risks involved, including counterparty performance risk if appropriate, and using discount rates appropriate for the duration. The fair values are assigned a level within the fair value hierarchy, depending on the source of the inputs into the calculation.



Level 1


Inputs based upon quoted prices in active markets for identical assets.


Level 2


Inputs other than quoted prices included within Level 1 that are observable for the asset, either directly or indirectly.


Level 3


Inputs that are unobservable for the asset.

Debt Issuance Costs

Debt Issuance Costs.  Costs incurred securing new debt facilities are capitalized and then amortized utilizing a method that approximates the effective interest method for term loans and the straight-line method for revolving credit facilities. Absent a basis for cost deferral, debt amendment fees are expensed as incurred. In the Company’s Consolidated Statements of Operations, the amortization of debt issuance costs, any write-off of debt issuance costs when a debt facility is modified or prematurely paid off, and debt amendment fees are included as a component of “Interest expense, net.”

Advertising Cooperative

Advertising Cooperative.  The Company maintains an advertising cooperative that receives contributions from the Company and from its franchisees, based upon a percentage of restaurant sales, as required by their franchise agreements. This cooperative is used exclusively for marketing of the Popeyes brand. The Company acts as an agent for the franchisees with regards to their contributions to the advertising cooperative.

In the Company’s consolidated financial statements, contributions received and expenses of the advertising cooperative are excluded from the Company’s Consolidated Statements of Operations and the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flow. The Company reports all assets and liabilities of the advertising cooperative as “Advertising cooperative assets, restricted” and “Advertising cooperative liabilities” in the Consolidated Balance Sheet. The advertising cooperatives assets, consisting primarily of cash and accounts receivable from the franchisees, can only be used for selected purposes and are considered restricted. The advertising cooperative liabilities represent the corresponding obligation arising from the receipt of the contributions to purchase advertising and promotional programs.

The Company’s contributions to the advertising cooperative based on company-operated restaurant sales are reflected in the Company’s Consolidated Statements of Operations as a component of “Restaurant employee, occupancy and other expenses.” Additional contributions to the advertising cooperative for national media advertising and other marketing related costs are expensed as a component of “General and administrative expenses.” During 2012, 2011, and 2010, the Company’s advertising costs were approximately $2.3 million, $2.4 million, and $2.3 million, respectively.


Leases.  When determining the lease term, the Company includes option periods for which failure to renew the lease imposes economic penalty on the Company in such an amount that a renewal appears, at the inception of the lease, to be reasonably assured. The lease term commences on the date when the Company has the right to control the use of the leased property, which can occur before the rent payments are due under the terms of the lease.

The Company records rent expense for leases that contain scheduled rent increases on a straight-line basis over the lease term, including any option periods considered in the determination of that lease term. Contingent rentals are generally based on sales levels in excess of stipulated amounts, and thus are not considered minimum lease payments and are included in rent expense as they accrue.

Tenant improvement allowances and other lease incentives are recognized as reductions to rent expense on a straight-line basis over the lease term.

Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss)

Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss).  Comprehensive income (loss) is net income plus the change in fair value of the Company’s cash flow hedge discussed in Note 9 plus derivative (gains) or losses realized in earnings during the period. Amounts included in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) for the Company’s derivative instruments are recorded net of the related income tax effects.

As of December 30, 2012 and December 25, 2011, accumulated other comprehensive loss consisted of net unrealized loss on an interest rate swap agreements. See Note 9 for further discussion of the Company’s interest rate swap agreements.

Revenue Recognition-Sales by Company-Operated Restaurants

Revenue Recognition — Sales by Company-Operated Restaurants.  Revenues from the sale of food and beverage products are recognized on a cash basis. The Company presents sales net of sales tax and other sales related taxes.

Revenue Recognition-Franchise Operations

Revenue Recognition — Franchise Operations.  Revenues from franchising activities include development fees associated with a franchisee’s planned development of a specified number of restaurants within a defined geographic territory, franchise fees associated with the opening of new restaurants, and ongoing royalty fees which are generally based on five percent of net restaurant sales. Development fees and franchise fees are recorded as deferred franchise revenue when received and are recognized as revenue when the restaurants covered by the fees are opened or all material services or conditions relating to the fees have been substantially performed or satisfied by the Company. The Company recognizes royalty revenues as earned. Franchise renewal fees are recognized when a renewal agreement becomes effective.

Rent and Other Revenues

Rent and Other Revenues.  Rent and other revenues are composed of rental income associated with properties leased or subleased to franchisees. Rental income is recognized on the straight-line basis over the lease term.

Cash Consideration from Vendors

Cash Consideration from Vendors.  The Company has entered into long-term beverage supply agreements with certain major beverage vendors. Pursuant to the terms of these arrangements, marketing rebates are provided to the Company and its advertising fund from the beverage vendors based upon the dollar volume of purchases for company-operated restaurants and franchised restaurants. For Company-operated restaurants, these incentives are recognized as earned throughout the year and are classified as a reduction of “Restaurant food, beverages and packaging” in the Consolidated Statements of Operations. The incentives recognized by company-operated restaurants were approximately $0.6 million, $0.6 million, and $0.5 million, in 2012, 2011, and 2010, respectively. Rebates earned and contributed to the cooperative advertising fund are excluded from the Company’s Consolidated Statements of Operations.

Gains and Losses Associated With Re-franchising

Gains and Losses Associated With Re-franchising.  From time to time, the Company engages in re-franchising transactions. Typically, these transactions involve the sale of a company-operated restaurant to an existing or new franchisee.

The Company defers gains on the sale of company-operated restaurants when the Company has continuing involvement in the assets sold beyond the customary franchisor role. The Company’s continuing involvement generally includes seller financing or the leasing of real estate to the franchisee. Deferred gains are recognized over the remaining term of the continuing involvement. Losses are recognized immediately.

There were no sales of company-operated restaurants in 2012, 2011, or 2010. During 2012, 2011 and 2010, previously deferred gains of approximately $0.6 million, $0.3 million, and $0.5 million, respectively, were recognized in income as a component of “Other expenses (income), net” in the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Operations.

Research and Development

Research and Development.  Research and development costs are expensed as incurred. During 2012, 2011, and 2010, such costs were approximately $1.8 million, $2.3 million, and $1.9 million, respectively.

Foreign Currency Transactions

Foreign Currency Transactions. Substantially all of the Company’s foreign-sourced revenues (principally royalties from international franchisees) are recorded in U.S. dollars. The aggregate effects of any exchange gains or losses are included in the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Operations as a component of “General and administrative expenses.” The net foreign currency gains and losses were insignificant in 2012 and 2010. The net foreign currency loss was $0.1 million in 2011.

Income Taxes

Income Taxes.  Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases and operating loss, capital loss and tax credit carryforwards. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in tax rates is recognized in income in the period that includes the enactment date. The Company provides a valuation allowance against deferred tax assets if, based on the weight of available evidence, it is more likely than not that some or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized.

The Company recognizes the benefit of positions taken or expected to be taken in a tax return in the financial statements when it is more likely than not (i.e. a likelihood of more than fifty percent) that the position would be sustained upon examination by tax authorities. A recognized tax position is then measured at the largest amount of benefit that is greater than fifty percent likely of being realized upon settlement. Changes in judgment that result in subsequent recognition, derecognition or change in a measurement of a tax position taken in a prior annual period (including any related interest and penalties) is recognized as a discrete item in the interim period in which the change occurs.

See Note 18 for additional information regarding income taxes.

Stock-Based Compensation Expense

Stock-Based Compensation Expense.  The Company measures and recognizes compensation cost at fair value for all share-based payments, including stock options, restricted share awards and restricted share units. The fair value of stock options with service and market conditions is valued utilizing a Monte Carlo simulation embedded in a lattice model. The fair value of stock options with only service conditions are estimated using a Black-Scholes option-pricing model. Restricted share awards and restricted share units are valued at the market price of the Company’s shares on the grant date. The fair value of stock-based compensation is amortized on the graded vesting attribution method. The Company issues new shares for common stock upon exercise of stock options.

The Company recorded $4.9 million ($3.1 million net of tax), $2.9 million ($1.9 million net of tax), and $2.7 million ($1.7 million net of tax), in total stock-based compensation expense during 2012, 2011, and 2010, respectively.

Subsequent Events

Subsequent Events.  The Company discloses material events that occur after the balance sheet date but before the financial statements are issued. In general, these events are recognized if the condition existed at the date of the balance sheet, but not recognized if the condition did not exist at the balance sheet date. The Company discloses non-recognized events if required to keep the financial statements from being misleading.

Derivative Financial Instruments

Derivative Financial Instruments.  The Company used interest rate swap agreements to reduce its interest rate risk on its floating rate debt under the terms of its 2010 and 2005 amended credit facility. The Company recognizes all derivatives on the balance sheet at fair value. At inception and on an on-going basis, the Company assesses whether each derivative that qualifies for hedge accounting continues to be highly effective in offsetting changes in the cash flows of the hedged item. If the derivative meets the hedge criteria as defined by certain accounting standards, changes in the fair value of the derivative are recognized in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) until the hedged item is recognized in earnings. The ineffective portion of a derivative’s change in fair value, if any, is immediately recognized in earnings.