- Popeyes' same-store sales exploded by 9.7% in the most recent quarter, following the launch of the chain's instantly iconic chicken sandwich.
- With the chicken sandwich only on the menu for two weeks before supplies ran out, executives said that the menu item also helped boost the chains' sales in less obvious ways.
- Buzz around Popeyes' chicken sandwich helped grow sales of all menu items, drive app downloads, and bring new customers to the chain.
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The power of Popeyes' chicken sandwich was even greater than the menu item's sales suggest.
On Monday, Popeyes' parent company Restaurant Brands International reported revenue of $1.46 billion in the most recent quarter, which saw the launch of both Popeyes' chicken sandwich and sister brand Burger King's Impossible Burger. Popeyes' same-store sales were up 9.7% globally in the third quarter.
"We had one of the best quarters for the brand in nearly two decades," Felipe Athayde, Popeyes' president for the Americas, told Business Insider on Monday.
"The sandwich was obviously a very important driver of sales and of interest towards Popeyes," Athayde added. "But, what it drove aside from sales of the sandwich itself was that refreshed interest in all of our menu."
With the sandwich only on the national menu for two weeks, the new menu item did not directly account for Popeyes' 10%-plus same-store sales spike in the US in the third quarter.
As the chain prepares for the return of the sandwich this Sunday, here are three unexpected ways in which Popeyes' chicken sandwich helped the chain thrive.