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Popeyes CEO: No, Seriously, We're Sold Out of Chicken Sandwiches

When Popeyes announced that it's already sold out of its wildly popular fried chicken sandwich nationwide, the news was met with both disappointment -- and in some cases distress! -- as well as a bit of skepticism. Was the chicken chain trying to pull a fast one on us to drum up even more demand for the elusive sandwich? Well, it turns out that might not be the case after all. 

Jose Cil, CEO of Popeyes' parent company, Restaurant Brands International, appeared on CNN on Friday to talk about the mania surrounding the chain's chicken sandwich and quash any accusations that the shortage is a marketing gimmick. 

"Yes, we really have run out," he said, explaining that the sandwich had been in development for over a year and tested in various markets in Texas prior to launch. 

"We do a lot of forecasting in preparation in advance of a national launch to make sure we're ready to deliver that product at big volumes all across the country," Cil said. Apparently not enough, though!

In fact, Cil said Popeyes did not expect to "break the internet" with their chicken sandwich. He wouldn't go so far as to reveal exactly how many of the sandwiches Popeyes has sold so far, but he compared its debut to that of the original iPhone, saying, "Nobody expected that kind of reaction."

The exec didn't offer any information on when the sandwiches will be back in Popeyes locations across the country, but we can't imagine it taking much longer for the supply to improve. Hungry chicken sandwiches fans are waiting. 

MORE:Does Popeyes actually make the best chicken sandwich in all of fast food?

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Kat Thompson is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @katthompsonn