The hype is back. Popeyes’s ridiculously popular chicken sandwich — which took a two month hiatus so that the chain could properly plan for the anticipated demand — returned on Sunday with much fanfare. And, as expected, the fast food chain’s outposts in the Seattle area have been packed — but the level of hassle varies from restaurant to restaurant.
Customer Amy Vu went to the Popeyes location up in Everett on Sunday and waited about one and a half hours to get her hand on a chicken sandwich. She tells Eater that, to speed things along, that particular location disabled app ordering and limited sandwiches to four per person — and, in the case of drive-thru orders, four per car. Vu said the drive-thru was still completely backed up, and that the side items seemed to sit for awhile under a heat lamp, since there was so much focus on the other offerings.
So was it worth it? “From a quality stand point, Popeyes was on top of their chicken sandwich game,” Vu says. “The manager at the Everett location, as overwhelmed and crabby as she was, was unapologetic about making the sandwiches correctly.”
The outpost in Renton has only a few of reviews on Yelp since the sandwich was revived — but none particularly glowing. One customer complained that the Popeyes app took her order, only to find out later that the location was unable to fulfill it. Another suggested there were “hundreds” of people waiting in line on Sunday, and the restaurant ran out of sandwiches by 1:30 p.m.
While Eater was unable to reach anybody the Renton Popeyes by phone, an employee at the restaurant in Everett said that things went “okay on Sunday,” but that the restaurant did have to disable online ordering to keep up with demand (which it will continue to do so since it is “short staffed”).
There are also locations in Kent, Federal Way, and Bremerton, and a whole bunch on the drive down south toward Tacoma, for Seattleites who really want to go on the hunt.
I went on Monday afternoon around 1 p.m. to the only Popeyes located in Seattle proper, at 1520 SW 100th St in White Center — and the scene was decidedly more low-key. While the drive thru was at a crawl, I only had to wait about a half hour inside for a sandwich. The service was friendly and patient, and the sandwiches were served piping hot. Like in Everett, this outpost limited sandwich orders to four per person and had a serving window for them from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Of course, there’s also a Bok a Bok right down the street, which has a pretty decent fried chicken sandwich itself. But it’s hard to resist the cravings of a crowd.