Popeyes and Chick-fil-A are officially at war over chicken sandwiches, though right now it’s a battle mostly of subtweets on Twitter. That’s good, as modern warfare generally doesn’t pause on Sundays anymore and actual violence over fast food is certainly frowned upon.
In early August, Popeyes announced that it would release a legitimate chicken sandwich nationwide, taking the food beloved by many as their fast food guilty pleasure and putting it on a bun with pickles.
Chicken. Brioche. Pickles. New. Sandwich. Popeyes. Nationwide. So. Good. Forgot. How. Speak. In. Complete. Sandwiches. I mean, sentences. pic.twitter.com/14kXBv4jJw
— Popeyes Chicken (@PopeyesChicken) August 12, 2019
It’s a staple owned by no corporation or citizen, but of a chicken-loving populace that knows good combinations when they taste them. Still, the move was a clear shot at Chick-Fil-A, which is known primarily for selling exactly that combination of foodstuffs. And as almost universally positive reviews of the sandwich poured in, a head-to-head matchup slowly brewed online: is it better than Chick-fil-A? Is there a new chicken king for the grease-covered American public?
This sandwich. The hype is right. pic.twitter.com/fRK2vGlbW9
— Da Baby Mama (@_ItsMissBre) August 18, 2019
Aye fam, if Popeyes comes out with the waffle fries… Idk man it really might be scary hours.
— Beanie Seagull (@DaBlackHoward) August 19, 2019
And the buzz around Popeyes’ first sandwich was enough that the Closed On Sundays eatery felt the need to remind everyone that, yes, they still make their sandwich and consider themselves the best.
Bun + Chicken + Pickles = all the ❤️ for the original. pic.twitter.com/qBAIIxZx5v
— Chick-fil-A, Inc. (@ChickfilA) August 19, 2019
But that post got plenty of reaction online, mostly people mocking Chick-fil-A for feeling the need to tweet that.
The stress on this tweet is palpabale. What is Popeyes doing in the Impact zone? Chicken Wars are upon us. https://t.co/9QrP8WI9ut
— Kazeem Famuyide 🍎 (@RealLifeKaz) August 19, 2019
The reaction included Popeyes, which denoted concern about the rival chain’s current wellbeing given the groundswell of support for chicken of a different maker.
That kicked off plenty of others chiming in on the burgeoning chicken wars.
Me when I tried the new Popeyes sandwich. pic.twitter.com/TLH9JFq98w
— chocolate milk influencer (@BourbonGhost) August 19, 2019
Kinda sick of you folks telling everyone which kinds of love are okay and which ones aren't
— jon rosenberg🌳🔥⚗💨 (@jonrosenberg) August 19, 2019
This begins the 4th Great Chicken Sandwich war.
— Bojangles Customer Support (@Kofie) August 19, 2019
Also, this is an incredibly specific sneakerhead tweet that is wonderful.
By late Monday, basically every fast food chicken emporium was trying to get in on the viralness of the moment, though many struggled.
Y’all out here fighting about which of these fools has the second best chicken sandwich. pic.twitter.com/4v9RJFgy0T
— WENDY'S SPICY NUGGETS ARE BACK!!! (@Wendys) August 19, 2019
Especially Bojangles, which is entirely fine as a fast food joint but not really worthy of consideration in this fight in the eyes of many.
The backlash was especially swift here, as many deemed this to be a bad picture of a chicken sandwich.
— Clarkisha Kent (@IWriteAllDay_) August 19, 2019
i had to drink four gatorades after looking at this tweet https://t.co/OIIv70FZsN
— Bill Hanstock (@sundownmotel) August 19, 2019
The Bojangles backlash got so bad that they actually deleted their tweet, which is actually the biggest L of the day when you really break it all down.
It’s worth noting that Shake Shack’s very good chicken sandwich also got some run, too.
If you're lookin' for a chicken sandwich (without the beef 😉), you know where to find us. pic.twitter.com/2wtV2POvFf
— SHAKE SHACK (@shakeshack) August 19, 2019
But many pointed out why Popeyes and Chik-fil-A are generally seen as going head to head here: price.
Until y’all fix your prices you gotta sit this one out. It’s like $30 for a sandwich fries & a drink. I refuse. pic.twitter.com/i8yPUOHUZV
— Drebae💎 (@Drebae_) August 19, 2019
Still, others wanted to see some players in the industry join the fracas.
Right now all I need is Burger King to chime in with its football-brown chicken disc to claim it’s actually the best pic.twitter.com/b8daJPQlaH
— Adam Jacobi (@Adam_Jacobi) August 19, 2019
The real winners here, of course, are fans of chicken sandwiches. Most of which run from ‘good’ to ‘very good,’ with some subjective exceptions. To each their own.