It’s amazing how quickly something can go from minor disagreement to all out war. One day, you’re harmlessly discussing the merits of your fried chicken, the next, the entire internet is being forced to pick a side between bitterly divided fast food factions. It’s like Game of Thrones, if Danaerys had given birth to poultry instead of dragons.
This week, fans of the chicken sandwich have found themselves stuck between a rock and a fried place, after Louisiana-based chicken chain Popeyes announced themselves on the sandwich scene in a big way. Their new buttermilk-battered breast, cushiony brioche bun and sharp pickle burger soon had the internet salivating, as well as stacking it up against the biggest name in bread and chicken - Chick-Fil-A. As battle lines were drawn, the divide grew deeper.
While some loyalists continued to swear fealty to Fil-A, a growing number were breaking off to pledge themselves to the new King In The South. Social media was soon awash with shady memes and barely concealed contempt for the other side. Even the brands themselves didn’t stay out of it. Chick-Fil-A composed a superior tweet, writing, “Bun + Chicken + Pickles = all the ❤️ for the original,” which caused Popeyes to goad, “...y’all good?” Tempers were clearly running hot.
However, while everyone’s attention was focused on the feud between Popeyes and Chick-Fil-A, other forces began to stir. Not content to be relegated to the second sandwich tier, Wendy’s weighed in, writing, “Y'all out here fighting about which of these fools has the second best chicken sandwich." This, it seems, was the cue for a full on free-for-all.
Before long, Popeyes and Wendy’s were at each other’s throats, with Popeyes calling Wendy’s “thirsty”, and Wendy’s dismissing Popeyes as “dry”. As this was going on, Shake Shake was busy informing customers, "If you're lookin' for a chicken sandwich (without the beef ?), you know where to find us," while Church’s Chicken used the extremely unscientific case study of old tweets to establish themselves as the frontrunners in the feud. Even Southern favourite Bojangles’ got involved, although they hastily deleted their tweet. It was carnage.
After the initial flurry of furious activity, no one was any the wiser as to who had come out on top. Blows were struck, egos damaged, and chicken castigated. Wherever you stand on the debate, we’ve all learned a valuable lesson about the fast food industry - insult someone’s sandwich at your peril.