As a fast food brand releasing a chicken sandwich in the post-Popeyes landscape, it’s not enough to unleash your delicious sandwich upon the masses and hope customers enjoy eating it. Instead, the debut must be wrapped up in a narrative, in attitude, in a schtick that projects the utmost confidence and swagger. The Burger King Ch’King tantalized crowds by promising a sandwich that was “worth the wait,” while McDonald’s chose more of a “streetwear hype” approach, treating the sandwich like a merch drop. Wingstop, though? The chicken chain simply said, “We’ve got 12 sandwiches to choose from,” and that was all it took. The crowds were pleased, and the sandwich sold out in days.
The sandwich has been gone from the menu for a month, but this week, it finally makes its return—and Wingstop is hoping that absence has made the heart grow fonder.
For those who aren’t familiar with Wingstop’s latest offering, it’s certainly not as hefty, cheffy, or complex as some of the other contenders on the market. Instead, it offers the promise of customization: Whichever wing sauce or rub is your favorite on the regular Wingstop menu, you can opt to slap that version of a chicken breast fillet onto a bun with pickles. BBQ? Sure. Lemon Pepper? Go for it. Atomic? Your funeral.
Customers apparently loved being handed the reins like this, because according to Wingstop, over one million chicken sandwiches were sold within a week of their debut, depleting inventory and forcing the brand to remove the item from the menu temporarily.
“Over the past few weeks, we’ve been hard at work with our supplier partners scaling the level of supply needed to meet the incredible demand for this product,” wrote Wingstop in a press release sent to The Takeout. All the kinks have been worked out, and the sandwich in all 12 of its forms will henceforth join the roster once again.
Skeptics might not be entirely convinced that this wasn’t all some sort of scarcity stunt, as we posited when Wingstop first announced it was out of sandwiches. Still, there are lots of fans out there who will be glad to see its return to the menu, regardless of how manufactured its absence might have been. There’s just something about that Lemon Pepper rub, you know?