WATCH: Not Even Popeyes Predicted the Chicken Sandwich Frenzy
"We didn't expect this type of reaction."
Nobody saw the phenomenon that is the Popeyes chicken sandwich coming—not even Popeyes.
"We didn't expect this type of reaction," Jose Cil, CEO of Restaurant Brands (Popeyes' parent company), admitted to Yahoo Finance.
Then again, who could expect long lines and a nationwide shortage for a chicken sandwich in a fast food market saturated with poultry options? Two days after the sandwich dropped, Popeyes saw traffic spike 103.3% across the county. And today, the chicken chain announced that they'd completely sold out of it. Their supply was supposed to last them until the end of September!
The Twitter feud between that arose between Popeyes, Chick-fil-A, and Wendy's certainly contributed to the pandemonium—a fact the chain isn't afraid to acknowledge. But, as Cil points out, Popeyes had the product to back up the hype.
"You can do all the social media buzz that you want but if you don't have a great tasting product, people won't react the way that they have," he told Yahoo Finance.
The Popeyes chicken sandwich is surprisingly simple: a buttermilk-battered and hand-breaded chicken filet on a toasted brioche bun, topped with pickles and either mayo or spicy Cajun spread. The result is so tasty that even Chick-fil-A is worried.