A KeyBanc Capital Markets’ analyst estimates that Popeyes sold around a thousand chicken sandwiches per day at each store recently. The sandwich made up around 30 percent of Popeyes sales and doubled the store traffic as well, said analyst Eric Gonzalez. Reportedly, such massive figures have stunned Restaurant Brands International, the fast-food chain’s parent company.
— Popeyes Chicken (@PopeyesChicken) March 29, 2016
The sales boost received its spark post a Twitter clash along with Chick-fil-A previous month, which resulted in more customers trying out the new chicken sandwich. The massive popularity of the chicken sandwich also disrupted the fast food industry while the same-store sales for Popeyes skyrocketed.
The chicken sandwich was launched officially on 12 August. However, it was not until one week after that Popeyes new item in the menu took off.
Later, on 19 August, Chick-fil-A posted on a tweet about its chicken sandwich, apparently going after the iteration of Popeyes.
Bun + Chicken + Pickles = all the ❤️ for the original. pic.twitter.com/qBAIIxZx5v
— Chick-fil-A, Inc. (@ChickfilA) August 19, 2019
Popeyes reply “… y’all good?” on Chick-fil-A’s tweet went viral, kick-starting a Twitter debate. That resulted in what Gonzalez refers to as a social media feud estimated to offer free publicity worth millions for Popeyes. The chain ran out of the new chicken sandwiches before August end.
Popeyes, established in 1972 in New Orleans, surpassed its seven weeks worth of inventory within two weeks. The Restaurant Brands International division is yet to get back the sandwich. Besides, Popeyes has also boosted its follower base on Twitter to 180,000 from 100,000 during the same time span, ruining the hyped advertisements of its larger rivals.
According to Gonzalez’s estimate, the same-store sales for Popeyes rose from 2 percent to 8 percent. He noted that the estimate might be conservative because Popeyes maintained its recently discovered momentum post the sandwich sell-out. Moreover, such a rise in Popeyes market share could likely impact larger fast-food chains like Burger King, Wendy’s and McDonald’s, Gonzalez added.