Chick-fil-A/Popeyes chicken war yanked August business away from other QSRs

The feathers have flown in August’s QSR chicken sandwich war between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A and new data shows the losers may have been the innocent bystanders in this particular battle in that other QSRs showed a corresponding drop in traffic amidst the beak-to-beak face-off between the two chicken-centered brands.

Gravy Analytics studied location data generated by consumer mobile devices to measure the effects that might have occurred during the social media standoff between Chick-fil-A and Popeyes that started about a week after Popeyes launched its wildly popular spicy chicken sandwich on Aug. 12. The following week, a Chick-fil-A tweeted about its own chicken sandwich offering triggered a reply from Popeyes that said simply, “Y’all okay?”

From that the madness ensued, as the tweet went viral and set off a consumer social media debate over whether Popeyes or Chick-fil-A really had the better chicken sandwich. As a result, Gravy Analytics found that Chick-fil-A foot traffic soared 16.5% higher from Aug. 12-31 over the previous two weeks of July 22-Aug. 11, Gravy Analytics reported.

For that same period — coinciding with the introduction of its spicy chicken sandwich — Popeyes traffic grew 14.2%, peaking at 73% above average on Aug. 24. But Gravy noted in its report that Popeyes lift didn’t really start in earnest until after their viral “Y’all okay?” tweet on Aug. 19. But, as we all know now, Popeyes sold out of the popular LTO and foot traffic showed a corresponding drop-off.

Scroll to Top