In what appears to be an attempt to make lemons out of lemonade (or maybe chickens out of eggs?), Popeyes has teamed up with a restaurant that once tried selling the fast-food chain's chicken as its own.
Instead of slamming Sweet Dixie Kitchen, the Long Beach, California, eatery that was caught selling Popeyes chicken as part of its chicken and biscuits menu item, the chain has extended a hand (or is it a wing?). Popeyes is partnering with them for the release of its very first chicken sandwich — what Popeyes describes is its biggest product launch in 30 years.
Popeyes is exclusively selling the sandwich at Sweet Dixie Kitchen Aug. 8 and 9 before the sandwich is available at Popeyes locations across the nation on Aug. 12. So customers who want to try it now will have to head to the local restaurant or, you know, wait a few days.
In a press release, Bruno Cardinali, head of marketing for Popeyes North America, said, "We feel honored that the team at Sweet Dixie Kitchen likes our chicken so much." Imitation is, indeed, the most sincere form of flattery.
Sweet Dixie Kitchen owner Kim Sanchez seemed totally surprised by the gesture. "To be honest, I thought they were calling to sue me," she said in the press release.
In a video Popeyes shared on Twitter and Instagram featuring Sanchez, she says, "We actually collaborated with them ... this time."
The debacle in 2017 began when a Yelp user saw Sanchez walking through the door carrying Popeyes bags and shared it on the review platform.
The incident quickly went viral and spawned into #PopeyesGate with a torrent of negative reviews on Yelp, as well as threats to the owner and her staff. Since then, it seems, Popeyes has taken Sanchez's side in the debacle, especially since she's willing to promote its new product.
Popeyes' new chicken sandwich is a buttermilk-battered, hand-breaded white meat chicken filet on a buttery, toasted brioche bun. The sandwich is topped with two barrel-cured pickles and either mayo or spicy Cajun spread. It sells for $3.99.
And if you choose to listen to this guy, it's definitely worth trying:
Of course, Popeyes isn't the first company to have their food ripped off. In 2018, a viral video showed a woman walking into Little Caesars with a cart of DiGiorno pizzas, leading some to believe the pizza chain was selling the frozen pizzas as their own.