Popeyes Will Hire More Staff to Deal With Return of Hit Sandwich

The Popeyes restaurant chain is bringing back its overwhelmingly popular chicken sandwich, but this time it’s calling in reinforcements.

Sun Holdings Inc., which operates about 150 Popeyes locations, will offer the item beginning in early November, according to Chief Executive Officer Guillermo Perales. To prepare, the restaurants are hiring additional 400 employees and may dedicate up to two people per store to make the sandwich, he said.

The item became a sensation when it debuted in August. But what should have been a triumph for Popeyes became a headache: Employees couldn’t keep up with demand, hurting morale, and supplies soon ran out.

Demand far exceeded what was available, Perales said. “The first time they weren’t ready,” he said.

Even with the struggles, the chain probably got a boost from the sandwich last quarter. Restaurant Brands International Inc., Popeyes’ corporate parent, reports earnings on Monday, and analysts are hoping to see a same-store sales gain.

Our franchisees have worked to increase staffing,” Restaurant Brands said in a statement. “We have been working diligently to bring the sandwich back to our restaurants soon, as we know our guests are anxiously anticipating its return.”

Restaurant Brands didn’t confirm the date of the sandwich’s relaunch: “As soon as we’re ready to announce a date, we will let the world know!”

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