The Viral Chicken Sandwich That Sold Out In Days

A defining feature of the last few years — other than a new administration, a global pandemic, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and record-breaking inflation rates, to skim the top of the news cycle  — is the humble fried chicken sandwich. From Popeyes to McDonald's to Wendy's, it seems like every fast-food franchise with a Twitter presence has introduced a version of the dish to similar virality, sparking a multilayered, not-so-harmless competition dubbed the chicken sandwich wars

It all started one fateful day in August 2019 with a spat between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A. Just as the former was riding the peak popularity wave of its somewhat-novel chicken sandwich, the latter took to Twitter to claim that their newfangled version was "the original" (per Restaurant Business). Droves of fans took Popeyes at its word, leading to widespread insatiable cravings for the Southern-inspired chain's chicken sandwich. The chaos continued when a Tennessee man filed a class-action lawsuit against the chain for running out of the popular sandwich amid a supply backup (per NBC News). 

It's been three years, but the chicken sandwich era seems to have no end in sight. Case in point: It's been a mere week since Wingstop introduced its line of chicken sandwiches, and all 12 of them are already sold out nationwide.

A month's supply was wiped out in less than a week

Wingstop took to Twitter this week to share the news. "Our 12 new chicken sandwiches are so good, they're SOLD OUT," the fast food chicken brand wrote. Despite having more than 1,600 locations nationwide, the craving for the hot-ticket item was more than the franchise could have imagined. According to QSR, the chain sold over one million chicken sandwiches in less than a week, eclipsing expected sales by 300%. It's likely that the instant draw was due to Wingstop's incessant teasers of the sandwich on social media, which included a "Chicken Sandwich Split" giveaway. 

According to Twitter responses, however, Wingstop may have an even bigger problem on its hands: several people shared photos of undercooked-looking meat in their swiftly acquired chicken sandwiches. One user called the sandwich "such a disappointment," adding that the item was "slightly undercooked." Photos shared by two other users show their sandwiches' undeniably raw-looking interiors. Wingstop hasn't publicly responded to said comments as of this writing, but the brand says that it's hoping to bring back the lineup as soon as possible.