Popeyes chicken sandwiches and Twitter fingers

Wouldn’t you want to taste the buttermilk-marinated chicken breast sandwich served on a warm, toasted brioche, with a flavorful spicy mayo sauce and sliced pickles? 

If you answered yes, then you might have run out of time, but no need to worry, this unthinkable Popeyes sandwich is rumored to make another appearance due to high demand. However, this new crazed cuisine did not just develop to sell out in less than three weeks without the help of social media.

On August 12, the debut of this flavorful sandwich released at the Popeyes headquarters in Miami. The release of this sandwich started a social media war between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A. This “social media war” only lasted a short amount of time due to the selling out of this sandwich, but it only sparked the flame of the fire. 

For the fourth year in a row, Chick-fil-A was awarded America’s favorite restaurant, according to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index. This led to Chick-fil-A tweeting the fundamentals of the restaurants popular chicken sandwich, “Bun + Chicken + Pickles = all the heart for the original.” This led to Popeyes tweeting “y’all good?” 

The comical rivalry led to memes and gifs of both chicken sandwiches, but most of the promotion went to Popeyes, as its sandwich just made its debut. A report by Apex Marketing Group showed that Popeyes received $23.2 million in free advertising, according to Reuters. 

The gifs and memes reached my own Twitter feed, so I thought I would give the sandwich a try. As I made my way to the first Popeyes location, I had to stand in an absurd line which wrapped around the store just to be told that they were sold out of sandwiches. I was surprised by the line, but knew everybody wanted one, so I was off to the next store. As I arrived at the next Popeyes location, there was no line wrapped around the store and only a 10-minute wait. Just as the sandwich was coming, I was able to see the reaction of other customers face and they all looked satisfied. I took my first bite into the crunchy and perfectly-seasoned chicken breast, with a toasty bun and spicy mayonnaise­­— it was the most delightful combination. The sandwich lived up to all the hype it had around social media.

However, this sandwich isn’t made for everyone. Some customers might not be big fans of spicy mayo and would only prefer Chick-fil-A. But if you are interested in something new and exciting, this sandwich is right for you. A fellow Rider student, sophomore marketing major Jhon Galeano said, “This sandwich isn’t for everyone, but I sure do love it.”

Chicken sandwiches were the trending topic for days. Because of this new craze, the world has seen Popeyes employees resign, stores have been robbed and the public lost their minds over a piece of chicken and two buns. But was it the interest in the taste of the sandwich or was it the hype around the product that had everyone tuned in? We have to admit the powerful and, sometimes frightening, control and impact social media has on the general public. Popeyes sold an estimated 1,000 sandwiches a day, all because of Tweets and posts, according to CNBC. Moral of the story, never underestimate the power of Twitter fingers.

Kristopher Aponte 

sophomore sports media major

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