Popeyes has sold out of its chicken sandwiches nationwide. The restaurant chain has pinned this tweet to the top of its Twitter feed saying “Y’all. We love that you love The Sandwich. Unfortunately we’re sold out (for now).”
Two weeks after it officially launched, Popeyes doesn’t know when the sandwich will be back. But expect it to be out for the next couple of weeks. If you want to be one of the first notified when the sandwich is back Popeyes suggests you download its app.
In a statement, Popeyes said that it expected its supply of sandwiches to last them until the end of September. But the demand its stores experienced was unexpected. Popeyes is working with its suppliers to bring the chicken sandwich back permanently. But it is very grateful for its fans. “It has been amazing to see our guests share their love for our brand and for the new Chicken sandwich on social media and beyond,” the statement says. “We are truly humbled and grateful for their support.”
Popeyes has been struggling to keep up with demand.
Multiple restaurants in the chain have signs posted in its windows warning potential customers that they won’t be able to buy a sandwich. Some restaurants even tell people to try coming back the next day. Some people are saying their local Popeyes locations have long lines. One person I know mentioned that she passed a Popeyes with a line that wrapped around the building.
That happened in Texas, but social media is confirming that things like this are happening all over the country. Popeyes locations in New York City have been reportedly sold out of the sandwich since earlier this week. Locations in Sacramento, California reportedly started selling out last Saturday.
This whole thing has made Popeyes lots of money. It’s being reported that all of this attention has brought Popeyes $23 million in sales. And it’s no surprise that this is reportedly Popeyes’ biggest launch in almost 30 years.
Why are they selling out?
The internet is a powerful tool and that’s how all of this got started. Popeyes tweeted about its chicken sandwich. Then Chick-fil A responded saying that its sandwich is the original. Then fans of these fast-food spots joined in and the whole thing spread across the internet. There’s no official score being recorded. But in this social media war, it’s pretty clear that Popeyes is the winner. Chick-fil A hasn’t reported the same kind of hype around its own chicken sandwich. Although, it’s Twitter account bio still says that it invented the chicken sandwich.
With all these people waiting in line people have a lot of time on their hands. Why not use it to register to vote? That’s just what a teen in North Carolina went viral for doing. 17-year-old David Ledbetter went to Popeyes locations with his organization Imagine This. It’s Instagram says that it “promotes college and career readiness by serving high school students throughout the [Charlotte, North Carolina] community.”
Ledbetter told CNN that he likes “engaging with the community.” He likes helping people and wants to make “society better as a whole.” Thanks to his efforts, dozens of people signed up to vote.
All the attention has a downside.
While Ledbetter was able to assist those Popeyes customers and the chain itself has seen a big boost in business, there is a downside to all this. Popeyes employees who are making these sandwiches are burnt out from trying to keep up with demand. Business Insider was able to anonymously speak to people who work in these restaurants. It reports that some people “are working more than 60-hour weeks and many days without breaks to quell the public’s craving for chicken sandwiches.” It goes on to say that one employee at an Orange County location says he made “at least 600 sandwiches” during an 11-hour shift. He went as far as to say he worked like a slave. When Business Insider reached out to Popeyes about this a representative said “All restaurant employees worked very hard. We are grateful for all that they do for Popeyes guests.”