The famous chicken sandwich returned to Popeyes’ menu on Nov. 3 after its initial launch in August.
Popeyes store manager Michael Lopez, or as his name tag says “BIG Mike,” said the Saturday after the Sunday launch was slow for the store on Houston Highway.
Employees bustled about the kitchen waiting for customers to venture into the Louisiana style fast-food restaurant. A stack of sandwiches sat ready for consumption under a heat lamp for fast service.
“This time around we were more prepared,” Lopez said.During the initial launch of the chicken sandwich – which comes in regular and spicy – chains ran out of supplies quickly, and they couldn’t sell the item for the rest of the day. The supplies ran out and the restaurant chain stopped selling the sandwich a few weeks later.
Lines at Victoria Popeyes were incredibly long, Lopez said.
“I don’t think anybody was ready,” he said.
At the Houston Highway location, the lines in August stretched past the store front onto the road and wrapped around to local motels just down the block.
It was just crazy, Lopez said.
Jessica Perez, 20, of Victoria, tried to get her hands on a chicken sandwich in August, but it was sold out every time she tried. Saturday she finally got a hold of the famous sandwich.
“I wanted to see what the hype was about,” she said. She added that no sandwich is worth the reactions she saw on social media.
With the rise in popularity, people became increasingly upset if stores did not have the sandwich in stock.
In Victoria, the worst Lopez experienced were upset employees, but it never got physical like he had seen in the news.
But across the country, the reactions were not as tame. In Maryland, a 28-year-old man was stabbed after reportedly cutting in line earlier this week. Multiple videos surfaced of customers yelling or physically attacking employees for running out of sandwiches.
“That’s just crazy,” Lopez said. “Why? Over a sandwich.”
Perez said people cared too much about trying the meal that they became insane.
“I don’t think I’d ever fight someone for food. I’m just glad it’s not crazy here.”
During the initial and most recent sandwich rollouts, Lopez said his restaurant sells about 1,000 sandwiches a day. While the Houston Highway location was slow Saturday afternoon, the Navarro location was busy and people were told they had about an hours wait for the coveted sandwich.
Lopez said the product is more stable after the August launch and he suspects the product will stay on the menu.“It’s a great sandwich,” he said.