The Popeyes chicken sandwich was, while it existed, arguably the most popular chicken sandwich on the planet. Jezebel Senior Writer Kelly Faircloth waited in line for ten minutes to get one before finding it was sold out; on the other side of the country, my own mother experienced a similar letdown after hearing lore of the sandwich on talk radio and seeking one out.
Now, after several months of absence, Popeyes is bringing the sandwich back in early November. In order to prepare for what will surely be another enormous response, they’ve brought in reinforcements, hiring an additional 400 employees dispersed among the chain’s 150 locations to battle the crowds. I picture Popeyes around the country girding themselves like franchised Winterfells, bracing for the Armies of the Dead that will pour from SUVs and high-rise office buildings.
“The first time they weren’t ready,” Chief Executive Officer Guillermo Perales told Bloomberg. Clearly not. During its two week-run, the sandwich sent Popeyes into a tailspin. Employees couldn’t keep up with demand, and morale tanked. This time, things are expected to be different. Up to two employees per store will be tasked with the specific, sacred task of assembling the sandwich, with the hope that no customer will be forced to walk away anything less than filled with chicken.
“Our franchisees have worked to increase staffing,” Restaurant Brands said in a statement. “We have been working diligently to bring the sandwich back to our restaurants soon, as we know our guests are anxiously anticipating its return.”
Popeyes’ parent company, Restaurant Brands International Inc., made a similar statement, saying that “Our franchisees have worked to increase staffing. We have been working diligently to bring the sandwich back to our restaurants soon, as we know our guests are anxiously anticipating its return.”
An exact date for the sandwich’s reappearance has not yet been set, with Restaurant Brands saying that “as soon as we’re ready to announce a date, we will let the world know!” For now, it’s time to wait.