The employees at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen must’ve probably gotten tired of picking up the call and hearing the same question again and again: is that chicken sandwich back?
It was a crazy summer for the employees at Popeyes, and the reason was their new fast food item, the crispy fried chicken sandwich. This new item on their menu instantly became so popular that everyone wanted a bite. It’s no surprise that people all over the country would swarm at the restaurants to get a taste of their delicious crispy chicken sandwich.
But it’s worth mentioning that behind the scenes, the employees worked tirelessly with no days off, even on weekends, to cater to the customers. Their dedication was commendable!
Since this famous chicken sandwich was available in over 3000 locations across the U.S., it was successful in satisfying the demands of hungry customers even though it was on the menu only for a couple of weeks.
It was one of the best decisions that Popeyes ever made to entirely create a new chicken sandwich, as it was a total hit. Sure, they weren’t ready for the overwhelming demand and positive response to their new fast food item. Even The New Yorker couldn’t get enough of Popeyes’ tasty sandwich chicken that was highly praised.
The magazine described the chicken sandwich as having the perfect combination of every ingredient, and every bite was full of flavor and so balanced that it was worth the hype.
Popeyes In Hollywood
It was in the middle of August when the chicken sandwich obsession began in Popeyes’ restaurants across L.A.
In locations like Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard, hungry customers would start lining up an hour before the store opens. Businesses located at Hollywood Boulevard would place orders in advance, and on La Brea Avenue, endless lines of cars were waiting to order their chicken sandwich at the drive-thru.
It was so popular and tasty that everyone wanted to try Popeyes sandwich chicken at least once. This fast food became instantly famous and remains a favorite among fast food lovers.
Sarah Miles, the general manager of the Hollywood and Cahuenga Boulevards restaurant, said customers were ordering about 50 to 100 sandwiches at one go and selling over 1000 chicken sandwiches in a day. Now, you can picture the madness at Popeyes during the rush!
Though Miles was able to console the long line of hungry customers by handing out water and licorice, one person she couldn’t please was the psychic next door. She was not okay with the long waiting line of customers past her business. Truth be told, that’s understandable, but it was out of their control.
Even now, customers won’t stop calling to ask when the chicken sandwich will be back in stores.
So, what’s the reason behind the delay? Running out of chicken is not an option. So, did they run out of sauce or other items?
Miles says that a unique ingredient is used for their signature sandwich, which is not used for any other food item, including a special sauce that’s equally tangy and spicy.
She further says that the recipe cannot be replicated as it has a distinct flavor and can easily identify a fake one.
When the demand for chicken sandwiches was at its peak, all the employees at Popeyes across L.A. had to work double shifts, and managers were working 70 to 80 hours a week. As a result, employees in some locations couldn’t handle the workload and backed off, which was a struggle for the remaining crews.
Soon enough, the chain ran out, and sold-out signs were put up on the restaurant doors and drive-thrus and are now replaced by corporate signs.
Popeyes In Western Avenue And Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
If you ever visit the Popeyes on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, you’ll be impressed by how clean the place is. It’s comfortable with efficient space and is nicely decorated.
You can enjoy ambient music playing through in-ceiling speakers and bask in the sunshine from the large open windows as sunlight pierces through the glass panels. You’ll love it here!
Of course, it’s not a new thing seeing a homeless woman on the streets of L.A. digging through trash looking for food. So, when the store’s general manager, Stella Jones, strictly tells her that digging through someone’s thrash is not allowed, the woman buzzes off with the leftovers.
Jones has been working there for quite a long time, and like most store managers, they were the first ones to try out the new signature sandwich before it was added to their menu.
She said it tasted delicious but had no idea that people would go crazy over their chicken sandwich. The demand was extraordinary, and sales went through the roof.
Jones further says they’re preparing to bring their instantly famous chicken sandwich. The only reason for the delay is that they want to hire more people and give them proper training to be well-prepared to face the challenge.
Last time, some employees couldn’t handle the pressure and called it quits. This increased the workload for other crew members who had to work double shifts. So, this time, they want to be fully prepared to bring their most in-demand chicken sandwich back to stores.
During the mayhem, the Popeyes King store faced some dreading challenges. By saying this, accidents occurred at the location, and customers threw thrash around, even banging on the glass. For this reason, they lost some of their employees as the situation went out of control, and they decided to leave.
The cashier, Mark Roberts, said that although it was chaotic, it was a thrilling experience.
Roberts said he usually clocks out at 5:00 p.m., but when the demands skyrocketed, he had to work overtime.
During that time, his shift started at 4:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m.
He said people would still be lining up at 4:00 a.m. to order chicken. It was that serious!
Even the store’s general manager, Jones, worked for 14 days straight, multitasking several responsibilities. She was answering calls non-stop and was figuring out where to store 40 racks of buns while a room full of angry and hungry customers kept staring at her.
At last, she admitted that it was challenging. But then she says that’s a part of her job and has to jump in when she has to because that’s the responsibility of a store manager. However, she gets no overtime for her extra efforts. So she’s hoping that the franchise owners will send some good news and expects to receive a bonus because she deserves it!
Jones hinted about the possible return of their famous chicken sandwich during the winter but said that some stores might bring it sooner.
She also said that the store at Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard has just gotten some exclusive sandwiches. So, this curious reporter went there straight away!
Popeyes At Slauson Avenue And Crenshaw Boulevard
At the Popeyes on Slauson Avenue, the first thing you’ll notice is a big flat-screen T.V. running either sports or news channels, and no one seems to be bothered by it. The customers are not there to watch the T.V., and the crew is too busy working on orders to care about which network is on. No one is interested in changing the channel, neither do I.
Jack Brown manages the store at Slauson Avenue, and he’s been running the place for over 25 years. So, no wonder he proudly says he can immediately identify new guests.
He says the store has been peacefully running for decades and has never had any issues except one night when he tolerated disrespect because one woman was highly irritated for receiving too many pickles. But that was it. Other than that, there are always long lines of customers in the lobby and drive-thru eagerly waiting for orders.
Do they love the chicken sandwich?
Brown says they enjoy the sandwich so much that they keep coming for it frequently. He smiles and says the store opens at 10:00 a.m., but people start lining up at 9:00 a.m. because they can’t get enough of it. They want to get their hands on it before it’s sold out. Also, they wouldn’t get one but would order 5, 10, 15 at one go.
So, not only out of curiosity but also equally hungry, an order for the most in-demand chicken sandwich was placed. As the crew prepared the sandwich, payment was made, and finally, this journalist was ready to savor the delicious chicken sandwich.
Was it worth all the attention and noise made on social media about this fast-food item? Absolutely, and for all the right reasons. With a combination of the generous sauce spread on the fresh bun and the crispy and moist chicken breast, the taste was heavenly.
Finally, understood why people would line up for hours and hours to order this chicken sandwich. It’s simply addicting!