By Alexandra Deabler
Published August 27, 2019
Popeyes has sparked a "chicken war" – and for some, it's turning into a clucking mess.
The fast-food chain launched its chicken sandwich nationwide on August 12. The reaction has been rabid – and it’s affecting the morale of Popeyes employees.
The sandwiches have sold out across the country, prompted long lines (which led to some good), and even sparked a secondary market – with some jokingly selling the coveted buttermilk brioche concoction for up to $1,000.
However, one group seems to have been forgotten about in the fight for chicken sandwich dominance: the employees.
One Twitter user shared a video of a Popeyes employee claiming a customer insulted his work.
“Somebody called me Mr. Slowa--. I’m not stupid. I heard it,” the employee said to someone off-camera, looking very upset.
The bullying did not end there, however. One Popeyes employee claimed to Business Insider that he worked an 11-hour shift and made 600 sandwiches in one day.
"I was working like a slave in the back prepping the buns with pickles and the spicy mayo," said Carlos, an 18-year-old Popeyes crew member in California.
"Everyone wanted to quit so bad because it was that bad," Carlos added. "We have never seen it get this insanely busy."
According to data from analytics platform, Placer.ai, traffic to Popeyes skyrocketed on August 20 and 21 – rising 67.6 percent and 103.3 percent over the same dates in 2018.
The battle does not seem close to over, either
Twitter user Jennah posted photos of a Chick-fil-A location throwing shade at the new Popeyes sandwich from its marquee.
“FYI we don’t run out of chicken sandwiches,” the board read, alluding to some Popeyes locations' struggles to keep the sandwich in stock.
A nearby Popeyes pointedly responded with its own dig at Chick-fil-A’s hours: “FYI. People need to eat on Sundays.”
Popeyes may have won the battle between Chick-fil-A – but several fast-food chains are hoping this isn’t the end of the war.
Wendy’s is still fighting for attention, recently tweeting out a reminder than it has a chicken sandwich too.
"Y’all out here fighting about which of these fools has the second-best chicken sandwich,” Wendy’s wrote.
Even McDonald’s appears to be feeling the pressure. Blake Casper, the leader of a coalition of McDonald’s franchises, released a memo to members implying that the company would be responding to the popularity of Popeyes’ new sandwich, Nation’s Restaurant News reports. It’s unclear if this means a new sandwich is on the way, courtesy of the Golden Arches, or if the chain just plans a promotional push for the sandwiches it already serves.
Fox News’ Michael Hollan contributed to this report.