When Is Popeyes' Chicken Sandwich Coming Back? Clues Point to Soon.
When I longingly think about the Popeyes chicken sandwich, Neyo's "So Sick" plays on loop in my head. I am so tired of wishing that damn chicken sandwich was here, back in my hands and on my tastebuds. I miss the crunch, the bigass pickles, the squishy and subtly sweet bun. The sandwich was so popular, and its sudden disappearance so notorious, it has inspired a sexy Halloween costume.
As of this writing, it's been 58 days -- nearly two months and counting -- since Popeyes announced it had sold out of the sandwich. When I pass by other chicken sandwiches at competing fast food chains, I scoff at their sad attempts. I bemoan the existence of this delectable sandwich because I can't access it, and yet I yearn for it. I've tried to move on, but can't stop myself from reminiscing and I'm not the only one.
When will this chicken sandwich-less hell finally -- mercifully -- end? Clues point to very soon. Popeyes locations still display signs claiming the delicious sandwich will "be right back," but speculation about an imminent return appears to be growing on social media. So I did some digging. I want answers, dammit.
My journey started with a phone call to Popeyes corporate, where I spoke to a customer service representative who couldn't provide much information other than to confirm that, yes, the sandwich will be coming back... eventually. Aside from that, he said there were no official updates at this time regarding the date and time. This was deeply unhelpful. We know it's coming back -- Popeyes made a killing on this sandwich. What kind of corporation would walk away from all that money? We need specifics, sir.
My next call was to my local Popeyes in Brooklyn, New York. Here is when things began to get interesting. My call to the Popeyes in Brooklyn confirmed that the sandwich would return -- and soon. The exact words were, "Hopefully this week, they should be coming.” I felt a flutter of excitement, thanked the man on the other end of line, and called up another store.
The next location I called is close to where I'm from in Southern California. There, an employee relayed that the store "received a call [from corporate] today" and that the sandwich will return "probably Wednesday." Wednesday?! That's so soon! As I began to get excited over the phone, the employee tried to calm me down by saying nothing was for sure, and that they're "waiting for the green light from corporate.” Fair enough.
The next Popeyes location I called was in Houston, where the employee relayed that the sandwich would return "sometime next month." A call to a Chicago location ended similarly, where I was told the sandwich would be back in "about two more weeks." Nobody I talked to had a clear a firm, exact day for the sandwich's return.
As I mentioned earlier, people on Twitter are starting to get speculative -- some claiming to share information from their own sources.
In addition to the intensifying speculation, Popeyes has been spotted sharing targeted ads claiming the sandwich will be back soon, and encouraging chicken sandwich enthusiasts to download the chain's mobile app to be the first to know. We're not sure how true that is (wouldn't they announce the return to the press first?), but it's probably worth the extra clutter on your phone's home screen.
Based on this detective work, we can conclude that the Popeyes chicken sandwich -- the very one a Tennessee man sued the Louisiana chain over -- could make its return as early as a few days from now, or as late as sometime in November. We think the latter timeline is more likely, so maybe don't walk into your local Popeyes and demand fried chicken sandwiches this week. Of course, a spokesperson for the chain remained tight-lipped, telling Thrillist, "We have been working diligently to bring the sandwich back to our restaurants soon as we know our guests are anxiously anticipating its return. As soon as we’re ready to announce a date, we will let you know!”
Additional reporting from Bloomberg also supports our suspicion that the sandwiches will be back in early November, as some Popeyes locations appear to be ramping up hiring in order to not to be as overwhelmed this time around. Restaurant Brands Inc., Popeyes's parent company, released a statement saying that "Our franchises have worked to increase staffing," and "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 may not be ready for part two of fried chicken sandwich insanity, but the masses are. Either way, we've already waited this long, right? I can hold off for another month if that means the chicken sandwich will make its way back to me -- permanently.