On social media there are viral videos of customers filling Popeye’s Restaurants to capacity – and even physical altercations – all for a $3.99 chicken sandwich.
“I knew that we were getting a new sandwich, but I didn’t know we were going to have lines to the street,” said Melissa Acosta, the general manager at the Yuba City franchise.
She said when they opened the store Monday morning, they sold more than 100 new chicken sandwiches within the first hour.
This past weekend, multiple locations sold out or had up to two-hour waits for sandwiches. The traffic has been non-stop. The sandwich was released Aug. 12 and went viral after rave taste tester reviews.
“It’s been overwhelming. Two managers quit. We only have one register and the drive-thru is broken,” Acosta said. “It’s busy, but the company is making money. More than we have in a long time. It’s a good thing. I’ve been having fun. We just need more employees.”
Customers who visited the Yuba City Popeyes’ location Monday wanted to see what all of the fuss was about.
“It’s been all over social media. It’s just a sandwich, but everyone is talking about it,” said Miguel Gomez.
Gomez went into Popeye’s Monday and said he hoped the sandwich would live up to all of the hype.
“My co-worker found out I was going to Popeye’s so they asked if I could get them the new chicken sandwich,” said Laura Henkenmeier, who also visited the Yuba City location on Monday. “He said it’s a craze right now so I’m going to try and get it for him.”
Maya Vieira, a manager at the Linda location agreed.
“The sandwiches had already been out a few weeks for before this started. It went viral online and things got crazy,” Vieira said.
Due to supply and demand difficulties, both local franchises will only serve the chicken sandwiches on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays until further notice.