Popeyes Prosperous, Overwhelming August

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Koen Samuel, Assistant Editor

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Up until a few weeks ago, people would probably say Chick-fil-A is the nation’s most popular chicken fast food restaurant. The franchise is best known for their chicken sandwiches, usurping the likes of Wendy’s, KFC, and Burger King. However, last month they received a good run for their money, by Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.

In early August, the Cajun based restaurant announced that in a collaborative partnership with Sweet Dixie’s Kitchen, they were going to release their own chicken sandwich. The new menu item would be a buttermilk-battered and hand-breaded chicken fillet topped with pickles, and either a spicy or non-spicy Cajun spread, served on a toasted bun. Better yet, the sandwich was set to have an original price point of only $3.99. But when they released the sandwich on August 12, little did they know it would create a national frenzy. 

All across the nation, Popeyes franchises began dealing with hundreds of customers eager to get their hands on the sandwich. Lines wrapped around the restaurants, and it is estimated at times some drive thru customers waited in their cars for more than an hour. This is the type of scenario we only see when there is a mass rush to get gasoline. 

A Maryland man, in particular, took the opportunity to exploit the desperation of people in his area and began reselling the sandwiches online for a price point of $100 plus a shipping fee of about $38 to those exclusively in the Washington DC area. 

But this was only the beginning. Once Popeye’s sold out of the sandwich, things started getting a little unprecedented. 

A man in Tennessee is suing the franchise for what he believes is “false advertising” and “deceptive business practices by entity to public” after an employee had told people on an online post that he could get people the “hidden sandwiches.” The individual is seeking a settlement of $5,000 after his wild goose chase to get the sandwich.

Meanwhile, some individuals sought a more immediate solution to fulfill their desire of getting a sandwich. A man in Dallas brought a whole raw chicken in his hands into a restaurant location and asked the staff if they could get him his chicken sandwich that way. It seems to have been done both out of seriousness and for a laugh, as he subsequently uploaded the video to YouTube.

But those are some of the more lighthearted accounts of people taking matters into their own hands to get the sandwich. Meanwhile, in Houston, it seems to have been taken too far. Five people allegedly attempted to storm inside the restaurant after being told at the drive thru that the sandwiches were sold out. One man even pulled out a gun and threatened employees. Their identities are still unknown at this time. 

Luckily for consumers still waiting to get their hands on the sandwich, there’s another opportunity around the corner. Popeyes released a statement on Twitter on August 27 saying that while they are sold out, they would work to bring it back as soon as possible. Maybe then all can be forgotten and people can finally lay their conquest to get the chicken sandwich to rest.