Social ‘Chicken Wars’ Boosted Chick-fil-A Traffic Amid Category Decline

So who won the Great Chicken Wars of August? Data from mobile devices shows that following the cacophony of social media cackling about the virtues of competing chicken sandwiches from Popeyes and Chick-fil-A, the latter restaurant chain enjoyed by far the biggest boost in foot traffic: 16.5%.

Overall, however, the entire fast food chicken category received about the same total foot traffic despite all the viral posts, according to Gravy Analytics. More people visited Chick-fil-A and Popeyes, but that foot traffic came at the expense of other restaurants in the space.

Gravy Analytics analyzed 4.81 million consumer attendances at restaurants categorized as Fast Food-Chicken between July 1 and Aug. 31 based on location data the company aggregates from data providers.

Things got started on social media when Popeyes, which had never sold a chicken sandwich, launched a spicy chicken version on Aug. 12, the same day Chick-Fil-A introduced Mac & Cheese to its menu. A week later, Chick-fil-A tweeted about its own chicken sandwich, prompting Popeyes to reply with a, “Y’all okay?,” which quickly went viral and ignited a fusillade of comments from consumers over which was the better sandwich.

Scroll to Top