The Popeyes Running and Sold Out of Chicken Sandwich

  • Popeyes locations are running out of chicken sandwiches because of high demand for the new menu item.
  • The sandwich was an immediate hit, sparking a massive social-media debate over the best chicken sandwiches in fast food.
  • Dozens of people reported on social media that as of Tuesday their local Popeyes had run out of chicken sandwiches.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Popeyes is selling out of chicken sandwiches as the frenzy over the new menu item reaches a fever pitch

Popeyes is facing a chicken-sandwich shortage following the rollout of its new menu item.

Last week, Popeyes added a chicken sandwich to the menu. It was an immediate hit,winning over Business Insider’s fast-food critic Irene Jiang. Fans were quick to crown it the king of chicken sandwiches.

The debate over the Popeyes’ chicken sandwich reached a boiling point this week as Popeyes feuded with its chicken-sandwich rivals Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s on Twitter.

The debate seems to be driving sales. And Popeyes is struggling to keep up with demand.

Dozens of people on social media have complained that their local Popeyes is sold out of chicken sandwiches.

Business Insider visited two Popeyes locations in Manhattan early Tuesday afternoon. Both were sold out of chicken sandwiches.

“Many of our restaurants have seen a high demand for the sandwich, with guests excited to give it a try,” a representative for Popeyes said in an email to Business Insider. “A few restaurants have temporarily sold out of the sandwich, and we are working to make sure they receive more as soon as possible.”

In case you hadn’t heard, Popeyes recently released a chicken sandwich. And in the very short time it’s been around, there’s been A LOT of hype.

related:Popeyes Chick fil A War Will Be Fought Through Memes

Although a lot of chain restaurants have introduced chicken sandwiches over the last few years, none have garnered quite as much immediate buzz as the new one served at Popeyes. And now, less than two weeks after the dish’s nationwide release, it seems that battle lines are being drawn between Chick-fil-A fans and loyal Popeyes customers over which chain serves the One Chicken Sandwich to Rule Them All.

Popeyes Locations Are Actually Running Out Of Chicken Sandwiches And People Are Kind Of Panicking

And now people are actually having trouble finding the new chicken sandwich at their nearest Popeyes locations — like, people have literally been calling to ask if they’re in stock…

Our Taste Test of the Most Popular Chicken Sandwiches Was Severely Flawed

First came The Sandwich. Then came the gradually louder social media buzz, accelerated by manufactured brand wars on Twitter, and buoyed by a flood of accompanying media coverage that shows no signs of slowing down. Now, less than two weeks after Popeyes rolled out its new fried chicken sandwich nationwide, we are in the third stage of the hype cycle, in which heated debates and shortages and hot takes and backlash build off each other, stoking the mania like kindling in flames. And at the center of the storm — the Popeyes chicken sandwich, which has been so memes and mythologized that it’s easy to lose sight of what it actually is: a perfectly fine product of impeccable food engineering and cheap labor and ingredients that form the backbone of fast food.

Now that is what you call a successful product launch.

Like every other publication driven to cover the sandwich by the twin forces of pageviews and genuine excitement, Eater — the news team, not the critics who are actually qualified to review food — decided to conduct an unofficial taste test of multiple fast-food chicken sandwich offerings. We are not the first to do so, nor will we be the last. We cannot at all guarantee that our test was the most rigorous or all-encompassing; that honor would probably have to go to the Chicago Tribune. But what we can promise you is that our taste test was severely flawed, impeded by our own hubris and other human limitations. (For instance, I dropped one test chicken sandwich on the floor and didn’t immediately dismiss the wild thought of, “Can I still serve this??” More on that later.)

Here is Eater’s taste test of four fast-food chicken sandwiches:

Methodology and process

The initial shortlist of fast-food chains to patronize for this test included PopeyesChick-fil-AWendy’sShake ShackMcDonald’sFuku, and Burger King. We dropped McDonald’s and Burger King because neither chain is particularly known for chicken sandwiches. Fuku was also eventually cut because it’s not widely available across the U.S., and also my editor who was supposed to pick it up was Popeyes running Out of Chicken Sandwich late because she had to wait an extremely long time at Popeyes, despite ordering in advance! Therefore, our final chains were: Popeyes (chicken sandwich, which was supposed to be spicy but in the chaos, they gave us regular instead), Chick-fil-A (spicy chicken sandwich), Shake Shack (chicken sandwich), and Wendy’s (spicy chicken sandwich). FLAW: CONFUSION AND LAZINESS.

We planned to buy two sandwiches of each and cut them into fourths so that eight Eater staff members could participate in the tasting. It would be a “blind” test, a.k.a. tasters wouldn’t know which sandwich hailed from which chain. We decided to figure out the other details of testing later. FLAW: LACK OF FORESIGHT.

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