Sales at Popeyes restaurants open at least 17 months soared 26% globally in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, thanks to the wild popularity of the chain’s chicken sandwich. In the United States, that figure was 29%.
Popeyes first introduced the menu item in August. Customers flocked to the restaurant chain and the sandwich sold out in less than two weeks. The brand said at the time that the “extraordinary demand” took it by surprise.
The sandwich — a buttermilk battered and breaded white meat filet, topped with pickles and a choice of mayo or a spicy Cajun spread and served on a toasted brioche bun — was billed as Popeyes’ “biggest product launch in the last 30 years.” After taking great pains to prevent another shortage, the chain brought the menu item back in November.
Restaurant Brands International, which owns Popeyes, also owns Burger King and Tim Hortons. Those restaurants took a hit in the first quarter because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sales at Burger King locations open at least 13 months fell nearly 4% globally compared to last year. At Tim Hortons, sales fell about 10%. Total revenues for the quarter fell to about $1.3 billion, a roughly 3% decline compared to the same period last year.