Popeye’s Big Adventure

We went down to our local Popeye’s to sample their chicken sandwich, to see how it compared to Chick-fil-A’s.

We will confess that we like Popeye’s, having known them from the time they were a five store chicken place in New Orleans and an associate of mine took me there for lunch.

Popeye’s chicken sandwich doesn’t compare too favorably with CFA’s yet, but there’s room for improvement. We think this sandwich could be a worthy competitor to CFA by: 1)putting buttermilk batter back on the fried chicken (Popeye’s inexplicably stopped doing this for all their chicken a couple of years ago; 2) Better pickles, since the sandwich we had didn’t have sweet dill chips on it, as CFA does; 3) come up with a more distinctive bun…ours had just a humdrum hamburger bun on it. Years ago, my restaurant did a chicken sandwich, which was a grilled patty on a nice kaiser roll, with melted mozzarella cheese over the patty and a little mayo, served on a plate with coleslaw. We did very well with it, even at $8.00

On a positive note, the actual chicken breast inside the bun was large and meaty, if a little overcooked.

There’s nothing that can’t be remedied with a litle attention to the details.

Why this is related to business is that Popeye can probably substantially add to their sales by fixing their chicken sandwich, and they’re open on Sunday. They don’t need to have the best chicken sandwich, although that might help, but they can be a better competitor to CFA without a lot of work.

On a general note, survey your customers on a new product or service offering to find out what they like and don’t like.

Product or service introductions are an adventure; you never know quite what will happen.

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