Why it's taking months for Popeyes to bring back its chicken sandwich

It’s been two long months since the chicken sandwich graced Popeyes' menu, and the restaurant chain has been working to secure a reliable supply chain before its long-anticipated return.

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In the two months since selling their last spicy chicken sandwich, Popeyes has been busy locking down suppliers for the sandwich's brioche bun and small chicken breast, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Finding said suppliers is not an easy task, as many have existing and exclusive contracts with competitors, such as Chick-fil-A, KFC and Wendy's.

Popeyes had initially procured three months' worth of chicken sandwich ingredients prior to its Aug. 12 launch, only to see them sell out in two weeks.

Popeyes' CEO Guillermo Perales has since stated that it would return to 150 locations in early November, yet no release date has been set in stone. There are 2,600 Popeyes locations in the U.S. alone.

The chain has also been staffing up ahead of the relaunch, hiring 400 new employees, with at least two new staff members per franchise dedicated specifically to meeting the expected chicken sandwich demand.

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"Our franchisees have worked to increase staffing. 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 International Inc, Popeyes' parent company, said in a statement obtained by Bloomberg.

"As soon as we're ready to announce a date, we will let the world know!"

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Meanwhile, Popeyes has implored fans of its sandwich to download its app for updates on its return, with the fried chicken chain insuring the sandwich will not be a limited-time only type item.

"It is a permanent menu item," Dana Schopp, a Popeyes spokesperson told Forbes.

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