There’s nothing more frustrating than falling in love with a new item on a restaurant’s menu, only for it to be taken off before you’ve truly gotten to enjoy it.
Wendy’s fans pretty much lost it when the brand took away their spicy chicken nuggets, so much so that the fast-food chain has now brought them back. Cue much rejoicing! In the case of Popeyes’ new fried chicken sandwich, however, their latest menu item proved too popular to handle and the chicken purveyor simply ran out — just two weeks after it was introduced!
The in-demand sandwich is made with an all-white-meat chicken breast fillet that’s marinated in a blend of Louisiana seasonings, then hand-battered and breaded in a new buttermilk coating. It comes with crisp barrel-cured pickles and classic or spicy mayonnaise, served on a toasted buttery brioche bun.
Needless to say, people are upset that it’s already unavailable. So Popeyes is offering a solution while they work to get the sandwich back on the menu — bring your own bun to the restaurant and make the sandwich yourself. Simply order chicken tenders instead, then put them on the bun you brought.
They announced their BYOB idea on Twitter, saying it’s “basically” the same sandwich. While the chicken is “just three tenders,” your makeshift sandwich won’t include mayonnaise or pickles. Unless, of course, you bring those too.
Try our new BYOB! It’s basically The Sandwich! Only no mayo. Or pickles. And you bring your own bun… Really it’s just three tenders… pic.twitter.com/9jOFyfdae4
— Popeyes (@Popeyes) September 12, 2019
It may seem like an April Fool’s Day joke, but it appears the restaurant chain is totally serious.
“While we work to get the sandwich back in our restaurants, we wanted to offer our guests a fun way to satisfy their Popeyes sandwich cravings,” Bruno Cardinali, Popeyes’ head of marketing for North America, said in a statement to CNN.
So, how did it get this far? After debuting the sandwich, which they say is better than Chick-fil-a’s, on Aug. 12, locations across the country began to run out rather quickly. Two weeks later, all locations were sold out and the sandwich was nowhere to be found.
Popeyes took to Twitter to apologize and said they were working to get the sandwich back on the menu as soon as possible. They also suggested users download their app and enable push notifications so fans could know right away when the sandwich was back. They promised to send an alert when it was safe to head back for another sandwich.
We hear y’all. We’re working to get The Sandwich back as soon as possible. If you want to be first to know when it happens, download our app and turn on those push notifications. Thanks for sticking with us! pic.twitter.com/UaIkGFMr3n
— Popeyes (@PopeyesChicken) August 28, 2019
The reaction on social media to the BYOB idea may not have been as positive as Popeyes was hoping. Some users, like @_KristalLee_, pointed out that competitor Chick-fil-a doesn’t run out of chicken sandwiches, while others noted that the option Popeyes was suggesting would cost more than the sandwich.
Chick fila never runs out of sandwiches
— Krystal Verdiguel (@_KrystalLee_) September 12, 2019
Twitter user @HeartofHatter said, “I don’t believe their loyal customers are there for a sandwich but it still leaves a bad taste” while Dr. Woods pointed out, “Sometimes you only get one shot to expand ur brand.”
This might actually cause them to lose future customers. Any new launches will be met with skepticism. Sometimes you only get one shot to expand ur brand
— Dr. Woods (@DrCwoods314) September 12, 2019
Some are trying to understand why Popeyes is taking so long to bring back the sandwich, posting pictures of bread along with their sarcastic messages, like this one from @JoshAYbear.
Gotta wait for the bread trees to grow
— Cowboy hat Dak (@JoshAYbear) September 12, 2019
Popeye’s is still keeping its cool about all the negative comments, though, saying, “Can’t blame us for trying? Right? Ok, we get it …”
Can’t blame us for trying? Right? Ok, we get it…
— Popeyes (@PopeyesChicken) September 12, 2019
So when will that delectable chicken sandwich be back? Signs outside at least one Popeye’s location are saying they’re out till October. Also, a Popeyes manager told local news station WLIX 10 in Lansing, Michigan that the sandwiches weren’t expected to return until November — but at that time, they’ll be a regular item on the menu, and he believes they’ll eventually have enough for everyone that wants one. Based on the amount that were sold during the sandwich’s soft launch, Eric Bristow said, they just weren’t expecting the sandwich to take off quite as well as it did.
And is it worth it? Possibly. Thrillist called it “a tiny miracle” and a Business Insider reviewer tried it and said, “The overall flavor, juiciness, and crunch made this a better sandwich than I’ve ever had at Chick-fil-a. My favorite chicken sandwich ever? Yeah, probably.” The Chicago Tribune rated it lower than Shake Shack’s but higher than any other fast-food chicken sandwich.
Will you be bringing your own bun to a Popeyes near you and creating a version of their fried chicken sandwich while you await its official return?