Who would have thought that the next food revolution would be a chicken burger? Launched last August 13, the $ 3.99 sandwich (or 3.6 euros) of the popeyes fast-food chain is all the rage: just for him, Americans · are queuing on tens of meters in the street.
Some 40,000 Instagram posts are devoted to him, and hundreds of thousands of tweets entertain Popeyes' entertaining exchange with his direct competitor, Chick-fil-A.
We do not yet know the first financial results of this marketing operation of genius, but the sandwich is already a victim of its success: it is currently out of stock at the national level.
Rififi in the hen house
To understand the phenomenon, we must understand the challenge of fried chicken across the Atlantic. Industry leader Chick-fil-A is the third largest restaurant chain in the United States, behind Starbucks and McDonald's. The banner has reached the top in just a few years and in 2018 exceeded $ 10 billion in sales.
The success of Chick-fil-A is due both to its Christian positioning and to a culinary highlight: the beloved country of fried chicken, the cornerstone of soul food and very popular dish in African-American communities.
According to the National Chicken Council, the American population consumes 4.5 kilos more annually than ten years ago. Jose Cil, the boss of Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of Burger King and Popeyes, notes that demand for chicken products has increased drastically in both chains in 2019.
Cheaper and healthier than beef (at least as long as it's not fried), the chicken takes off. This boom has allowed many fast-food brands that have become obsolete to regain the hair of the beast, like KFC – which is also testing in Atlanta, in partnership with Beyond Meat and with some success, the track chicken without chicken.
A week in hell
If the out of stock Popeyes sandwich is bad news for customers, the staff of the chain, he is delighted with this break. Employees will finally be able to breathe, after a week marked by overtime and widespread chaos.
"My experience at Popeyes was good until the sandwich arrived. (…) I worked as a slave in the back, preparing bread with pickles and spicy mayo, tells Business Insider an employee, who literally resigned between two sandwiches. Demand has multiplied the workload by ten, and I was still paid with slingshot. "
During an eleven-hour day, he estimates he has prepared 600 sandwiches, including 35 for one order.