Popeyes is expanding its menu to add blackened chicken sandwich, bacon and cheese to its chicken sandwiches.

Source: Popeyes

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is permanently adding the blackened chicken sandwich to its menu on Tuesdays, marking the first addition to the chicken sandwich line since the craze began four years ago.

The new menu item features 12-hour marinated chicken breast seasoned with Cajun spices, but lacks the chain’s chicken sandwich bread. Popeyes President Sami Siddiqi said in a statement that the blackened chicken sandwich gives diners a “lighter option that’s perfect for every day.”

the Brands International Restaurant The chain also allows customers to add bacon and Havarti cheese to all of their chicken sandwiches, starting at an additional $1.50.

Menu changes indicate that Popeyes is banking on the popularity of its chicken sandwich to attract customers. The broader restaurant industry has seen traffic decline as customers have pulled back from eating out to manage their budgets.

When the chain first launched the menu item four years ago, it sold out in less than a month, helped in part by a social media dispute with Chick-fil-A. The chicken sandwich made a permanent return several months later, driving double-digit same-store sales growth for Popeyes for multiple quarters. Even when pandemic shutdowns hit restaurant sales, Popeyes was the rare chain to report high demand.

Other chains have entered the arena, trying to show off Popeyes with their chicken sandwiches. The added competition, combined with a higher baseline of sales overall, has resulted in less impressive growth for Popeyes lately. In the first quarter, same-store sales in the US rose just 3.4%.

Popeyes was also skipping the chicken sandwich to boost sales. It added Ghost Pepper Wings to its menu permanently after the spicy item sold out for a limited time in just two weeks in January.

Shares of parent Restaurant Brands are up 16% this year, spurred by early signs of a turnaround in Burger King’s US business. The company has a market capitalization of $23.4 billion.


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