Last spring, Kentucky Fried Chicken tested their champion for the Chicken Sandwich Wars with a massive new item in Orlando.
Looks like that test was a success, and the fried chicken chain’s new sandwich is making its national debut.
The sandwich features a quarter-pound, double-breaded, all-white meat chicken breast filet atop a buttery brioche bun slathered with your choice of mayo or spicy sauce and thick and crispy pickles.
McDonald’s has also announced the debut of three chicken sandwiches to their menu earlier this week, rounding out the major fast-food chains in the country selecting a contender for the fried chicken sandwich title currently held by Popeyes.
KFC’s new Chicken Sandwich is now available at select markets. It will be at all 4,000 US locations by the end of February. Definitely excited to try this one, even in a crowded class of chicken sandos.
February will signal McDonald’s stepping into the arena to battle it out with other fast food chicken sandwiches, as they will be debuting three new sandwiches.
These three choices will be available come February 24:
Crispy Chicken Sandwich: Served on a toasted, buttered potato roll and features crinkle cut pickles.
Spicy Chicken Sandwich: A Spicy Pepper Sauce highlights this choice, for those looking for a nice kick to their sando.
Deluxe Chicken Sandwich: This upgrade boasts shredded lettuce, Roma tomatoes, and mayonnaise.
This is a bold and deliberate move for The Golden Arches, clearly meant to show that they, too, are a viable chicken spot with these new chicken sandwiches debuting alongside classics like Chicken McNuggets and the McChicken sandwich.
Popeyes really made the country go crazy for chicken when it released its first ever fried chicken sandwich last year. Now 7-Eleven is looking to get in on the action, opening its own fried chicken joint within the walls of a new store in Manhattan.
It’s called “Raise The Roost” and will be offering up classic chicken sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, tenders, and by-the-piece boneless and bone-in wings.
They’ll also be offering grab-and-go options, if you’re just trying to, well, grab some chicken and go.
The chicken is said to be made from scratch, and if the “Raise The Roost” pun wasn’t enough for you, they’re going with the slogan, “Chicken Worth Crossing The Road For.”
Similar to the 7-Eleven Lab Store in Dallas, Texas, the New York Evolution store that will house the chicken shack will also carry its own specialty products such as cold brew coffee on tap, self-serve ice cream, and they’ll even have their “Mobile checkout” available. Their mobile checkout system was introduced in summer of 2019, and allows customers to scan out their items and actually skip the traditional cash register experience.
The aforementioned Dallas Lab Store also had its own full restaurant attached, as the Laredo Taco Company comfortably sits inside the giant 7-Eleven, with its own fully fleshed out menu.
We can only hope the concept catches on, as being able to walk to your local 7-Eleven for some 2 a.m. fried chicken always sounds ideal.
Conversations and quotes in this article have been transcribed from the Foodbeast Katchup podcast: “#102: Camel Meat and Popeyes, We’re All Hypocrites,” out now on Spotify, the Apple Podcasts App, and all major platforms where podcasts are heard.
There is not a single fast food menu item that has been hotter than Popeyes’ chicken sandwich this year. From McDonald’s, to Chick-Fil-A and even Taco Bell, none of the world’s top fast food restaurants have created the type of buzz that Popeyes has.
With this much buzz around their crunchy, juicy sandwich, they have the attention of the world, and with that attention, could really turn the industry on its head. Again.
At least that’s the argument made by Uproxx Life editor Steve Bramucci, who made a radical suggestion that almost makes too much sense.
“First of all, if they said, ‘We’re making so much on these chicken sandwiches, we’re actually going to bump the price up $1. If you don’t want it fine, but we’re willing to bet you’ll pay an extra $1. Here’s exactly where our dollar’s going to go… 50 cents of that dollar is going to… the rate we pay our employees. The other 50 cents of that dollar is going to go to better sourcing for our farmers.’ Those two things for a $5 sandwich, I am in that line with all those maniacs.”
Raise the price of the coveted chicken sandwich by $1, in order to give the employees a better wage, and to be more transparent about their chicken sourcing.
Popeyes has a gold mine in its hands, and a pretty affordable one at that. Bramucci believed that Popeyes is selling so much volume of that sandwich, that it would not be crazy to invest in those two keys.
Now would Popeyes actually do something like that? It isn’t something that has been done in the past, but if they were the first, it would change the industry.
The Popeyes chicken sandwich became a bit of a phenomenon, and as quickly as it came, it left with mobs of fans upset at the decision.
Popeyes said they “sold out,” which didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but none of that matters, because it’s coming back after a two month hiatus.
Recently, Popeyes is sending out targeted Instagram ads saying, “The sandwich is coming soon.”
The catch is that they want you to download their app first, so you can be the first to know about the launch. If you do download the app, you’re greeted with a “Chicken Sandwich, Be Right Back,” as a little teaser.
Unfortunately, Popeyes has not even hinted at a timetable, so we have to go off their “coming soon,” ad.
Being punked into downloading a fast food app is never fun, and restaurants try it often, but if you really miss the Popeyes chicken sandwich, it might be worth it for the potential of an in-app deal, as most restaurants tend to give out on their apps.
Back in 2017, we at Foodbeast broke a story that caught the eyes of many outlets around the country that came to be known as #PopeyesGate. It involved a restaurant named Sweet Dixie Kitchen in Long Beach, CA that incurred some backlash from the public after being caught using store bought Popeyes chicken, and repurposing it to be served in their chicken and waffles dish. An angry yelper recounted his dismay when he saw the boxes being brought in, feeling bamboozled, especially for having to pay for a meal that would cost significantly less at Popeyes. That led to a sneering reply from owner, Kim Sanchez, who defended her actions on the premise that “Popeyes was the best chicken.” We even paid them an incognito visit, in hopes of getting a better understanding of the whole story.
The whole thing blew up, and long story short, the internet agreed that an ethical line was crossed. Without full disclosure to customers, Sweet Dixie Kitchen passed off someone else’s work as their own. It’s just like school, nobody likes the weak link in the group project that still gets the same grade as everybody else.
While food plagiarism is indeed controversial, the practice isn’t illegal, and who knows if this specific case is even grounds for filing a lawsuit? At the end of the day, Sweet Dixie Kitchen embraced their infamy, benefited from it and continued with operations as normal but with a bit of added transparency.
Fast forward to August 2019, after all was thought to be said and done: Sweet Dixie returns to the spotlight after two years, but this time, with help from an unlikely collaborator: Popeyes!
“To be honest, I thought they were calling to sue me,” detailed Sanchez. Instead, Popeyes invited them to debut their biggest product launch in thirty years! Apparently, the folks at Popeyes were so honored by the whole #PopeyesGate situation that they felt a little collaboration was in order. What better way to show their appreciation than to allow Sweet Dixie Kitchen the honor of launching the new chicken sandwich into the world? How odd is it that a series of strange moments of virality led to a neighborhood eatery having the Popeyes chicken sandwich before Popeyes itself. Nobody could have guessed that things would come around full circle, and we would end up with a sudden cultural phenomenon in our hands.
The internet is a wild place where things happen in the blink of an eye, and word just gets around real fast… like that one time you gave your friend a piece of gum during recess, and suddenly you’re surrounded by parasites with their hands out. On the day that Popeyes dropped their new chicken sandwich at all their stores, #BlackTwitter set social media ablaze, pronouncing a (chicken) coup d’etat set to dethrone Chick-Fil-A’s hold on the matter.
Honestly, I’m just glad we’re done with licking tubs of ice cream at the grocery store—that was a dark time for all of us.
Let’s be real, up until the past month, Chick-Fil-A was “Top Cow,” the heavyweight champ, the superhero (but the one everyone would be ashamed to be saved by…you know, cause of the homophobia thing). No one challenged the status quo until Popeye’s dared to rinse the pickle juice out of our eyes and showed us how to throw some Cajun into the mix.
Popeyes Initial Announcement 8/12
Chicken. Brioche. Pickles. New. Sandwich. Popeyes. Nationwide. So. Good. Forgot. How. Speak. In. Complete. Sandwiches. I mean, sentences. pic.twitter.com/14kXBv4jJw
It was at that moment, the dam broke, and any fast food chain who felt they had a say in the matter, did—which is why the Internet stays undefeated. From petty clapbacks to side-eyed comments, the “Chicken Sandwich Wars” between the nation’s top fast food chains had the internet at a standstill, with everyone and their mama trying to get their opinions in.
While the exchange between Popeyes and Chick-Fil-A was mild at best, Wendy’s wasn’t afraid to get into it, tweeting: “Y’all out here fighting about which of these fools has the second best chicken sandwich.”
After just fifteen days of long lines, brawls, and countless “Come Back Later” signs, Popeyes just could not keep up with the demand and announced a temporary SOLD OUT sign on their beloved chicken sandwich. Like a bright comet, it came and went, with a brilliant flash that blazed through our timelines. Until it’s return, we wait (or just go back to contaminating tubs of ice cream).
Since its launch, Popeyes’ brand new chicken sandwich has gone viral and resulted in lines that have wrapped around stores around the nation. Many have waited close to an hour to get their fried chicken fix, and demand has been so sky high that folks will now have to wait a little bit longer.
Image courtesy of Popeyes
In a statement, Popeyes says that they expect to completely sell out of chicken sandwiches by the end of this week. While they had planned for a big turnout for the sandwich, they’ve already exhausted the inventory that was forecasted to carry them through September. That means that for at least a little bit, Popeyes won’t have enough fried chicken sandwiches to go around.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the sandwiches will be gone for an entire month, since the chain is working with their suppliers to get the hype new item back in stores sooner rather than later. However, we will have to endure without America’s hottest new fried chicken sandwich for at least some time.
Popeyes will let everyone know once the sandwich is back on the menu.
In a new case of the Mandela Effect, where one believes something existed through the power of false memories, we bring you the fact that Popeyes Chicken has never had an official chicken sandwich on its menu.
I know you’re probably thinking back right now, saying to yourself, “Bullshit. I know I’ve had a Popeyes chicken sandwich,” and it’s possible you have, but only if you resided within the recent test markets.
For the first time ever, everyone will have a chance to officially try a Popeyes chicken sandwich, as it will have an official nationwide launch Monday, August 12.
For those who have tried it, it has been compared to Chick-Fil-A’s sandwich, bearing a similar minimalistic chicken, pickle and bun look.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Sweet Dixie, as what should have been a hyper local story, really took off when folks nationwide had their opinions on the restaurant’s decision to serve Popeyes strips in their sandwich under the false impression that the chicken was house-made. Sweet Dixie had technically never said the sandwich was house made, but was known for its freshly made food, so guests obviously had some feelings when learning they were eating Popeyes instead.
The Internet did its thing, and soon after, Sweet Dixie had the health department swing by. Since then the sandwich underwent some forced changes, but it looks like Popeyes itself doesn’t feel any ill will towards Sweet Dixie and its owner Kim Sanchez.
If you can’t make it to the Sweet Dixie preview, August 12 is your day. We will have the chance to try a true Popeyes chicken sandwich for the first time, and we can only imagine it being glorious.