More than two months after Popeyes stopped serving its globally popular fried chicken sandwich, the fast food chain officially relaunched the sandwich last Sunday, Nov.3.
In sizzlin’ PR fashion, it picked a special day – National Sandwich Day – to boost already high consumer expectations for the poultry sensation’s rebirth!
While it was a fitting day to relaunch the long-awaited menu item, Popeyes also used the date to grill Chick-fil-A, which is famously closed on Sundays. Maybe the Great Chicken Sandwich War of 2019 isn’t over after all. Chicken sandwich mania is back in full force.
What will the second coming of the chicken sandwich mean?
The sandwich’s initial debut in early August launched a debate over fried chicken sandwiches and their place in the hierarchy.
The item quickly became a sensation. But what should have been a brand awakening for Popeyes became a nightmare. Employees couldn’t keep up with demand, hurting morale, and supplies quickly ran out.
We all thought Popeyes had pulled the plug on its chicken sandwich to spark more hype and demand. After all, this is a common marketing tactic used in the fast food world. Think McDonald’s McRib, Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte – and all things seasonal – and Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries.
In reality, demand for the chicken sandwich far exceeded Popeyes’ own expectations, which left the company’s supply chain unable to keep up with the demand. The company reportedly thought its initial supply of chicken sandwiches would last for a month, but America ate them out of house and home in just two weeks.
Popeyes CEO Jose Cil had to take to TV to let a hungry public know that the chain had officially sold out.
Popeyes is not crying fowl this time around. Franchises of the chain have reportedly hired an additional 400 employees (and designated two people per store as sandwich handlers) to satisfy a hungry public!