The Popeyes Where Orders Come With A Serenade On The Side

When you roll up to the drive-through window at the Kenner, Louisiana Popeyes located at 3016 Loyola Drive, you'll see what looks like a typical Popeyes drive-through tableau. However, there's a pretty decent chance that what you'll hear will be something else entirely. That's because this particular Popeyes has become low-key famous for its orders coming with a free side of serenade, at least when "Ms. Cynthia" is on shift, according to The Times-Picayune.

"Ms. Cynthia" (and sometimes, just plain "Cynthia") is how 57-year-old New Orleans native Cynthia Carter refers to herself to her Popeyes drive-through customers. Carter has been working at one Popeyes or another for three decades now, but for at least half of that time, she's been doing so in her now-trademark musical "patter" that manages to be at once, "amusing, and utterly comforting," as The Times-Picayune describes it — while also grasping, often quite successfully, at that highly vaunted brass ring of the restaurant industry known as the "fast food order upsell." In other words, this Popeyes, where the live music comes free with your trip to the drive-through, not only brings smiles to the faces of those in search of one of the best fast food fried chicken sandwiches but also works a bit of magic on the restaurant's revenues.

Cynthia has become a genuine draw for Popeyes

A recent viral Facebook video that has been shared more than 22,000 times directed lots of positive attention to the fast food chicken chain, and in particular, the Kenner, Louisiana location where drive-through employee Cynthia Carter works her musical stylings with every single order. It all started in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Carter had "lost almost everything," according to The Meredith Vieira Show, in the Category 5 storm that killed 1,800 and caused the biggest evacuation in U.S. history. But that didn't stop Carter from taking inspiration from a customer who turned up with a song in his heart that went something like this: "I need a two-piece, white meat, spicy, with frIIIIIIIES," as Carter recalled for The Times-Picayune

From that moment on, Carter has been "lifting the spirits" of her customers with her energetic and often inspiring vocal stylings. And while it may not be doing much to mitigate those pandemic-lengthened drive-through lines, Carter's performance of "God's work," as she calls it, has been great for business. According to the location's general manager, Will Gould, "Carter's personality is certainly part of the draw at the popular location." Moreover, her patter, which is delivered with the speed of an auctioneer, the confident, rhythmic precision of a rapper, and the lilting tones of a gospel soloist, does, in fact, keep the line moving.