Chick-fil-A vs. Popeyes Comparison

Updated August 12, 2022

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Chick-fil-A vs. Popeyes Comparison essay

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The so-called “Chicken Sandwich War” of 2019 was a social media-driven promotional showdown between two of the top fried chicken quick-service chains in the United States, Chick-fil-A, and Popeyes. Popeyes is the nation’s second-largest fried chicken chain as measured by the number of retail locations, after KFC, but Chick-fil-A is not far behind and is rapidly growing. Chick-fil-A also beats Popeyes in terms of total sales. Chick-fil-A is better than Popeyes because of its superior customer service, higher quality and customer satisfaction, and values-driven business model.

One reason why Chick-fil-A is the better of the two restaurant chains is that it offers superior customer service relative to Popeyes. During the Chicken Sandwich Wars, Popeyes managed to generate a high level of social media buzz about its new chicken sandwich offering. Social media played a big role in generating sales for the sandwich. This publicity stunt successfully translated into real-world demand, driving large numbers of customers to Popeyes restaurants. Popeyes, however, found itself unable to cope with this spike in demand. At many locations, drive through lines stretched far outside of the restaurant and customers faced excessively long wait times as Popeyes workers struggled to keep up. Many customers ended up being disappointed as Popeyes locations ran short of buns and other supplies and had to stop making the sandwiches. Popeyes attempted to put a humorous spin on the situation, announcing by social media that customers should bring their own buns so they could make chicken sandwiches out of the restaurant’s chicken tenders (Tyko par. 3). Customers were not overly impressed and became more irritated than before. Social media consumers even created Youtube videos showcasing and test tasting the differences between the Popeyes chicken sandwich versus both the original and spicy sandwich that Chick-fil-A serves. Many customers were upset that they couldn’t try out the popeyes sandwich due to it selling out so fast and remained sided with Chick-fil-A. This whole demand for a chicken sandwich was a marketer’s dream and with Popeyes sandwiches selling out, it shows how unprepared Popeyes was for the enormous amount of sales. Chick-fil-A has a routine practice on how to get customers in and out, keeps inventory fulfilled, and is consistent. Chick-fil-A, in the meantime, did not experience any major issues coping with the spike in demand for its chicken sandwich.

Furthermore, Chick-fil-A is also a better restaurant than Popeyes because it has a higher customer satisfaction rating. Based on surveys conducted by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Chick-fil-A has the highest level of customer satisfaction of all fast-food restaurants in the United States; it also has a higher level of customer satisfaction than even the top full-service restaurant chain (ACSI 2-5). It has held this top spot for the past four years. Popeyes, in contrast, has a long history of scoring poorly in studies of metrics such as brand equity rating (Kim and Hong-Bumm 121-122). Nobody treats you better than a Chick-fil-A employee and many businesses always refer to Chick-fil-A as being the standard of providing excellent efficient service all around. Chick-Fil-A has every trait needed to be successful and this is why Popeyes will never be able to compete. Chick-Fil-A’s food looks as advertised, hosts the best drive-through service, mobile orders and redeemable points for free food, acknowledges customers like family and based on their points, customers are invited to company events. Chick- fil- A is heavily involved in the community and holds events such as Cow Appreciation Day, Valentine’s Day, and Chick-Fil-A is the ideal restaurant that schools or sports teams choose to have food catered. Popeyes may have more total restaurants than Chick-fil-A, but without a doubt, it does a relatively poor job of satisfying customers.

In continuation, Chick-fil-A is better than Popeyes because it operates on a strongly values-driven business model that appeals to today’s consumers. Its values include a commitment to religious principles, outstanding treatment of employees, and support for family and work-life balance. In today’s competitive business environment, values-driven enterprises that make serious commitments to social responsibility are highly appealing to increasingly values-conscious consumers. This often translates into improved attainment of business goals, growth, and financial performance relative to purely profit-driven enterprises (Marin, Cuestas, and Roman 247-248). Chick-fil-A’s value of treating employees well likely also plays a key role in enhancing performance, which supports better service and higher customer satisfaction.

In conclusion, the factors of customer service, customer satisfaction, and values-driven business model prove that Chick-fil-A is an overall better restaurant chain than Popeyes. While Popeyes exhibited an impressive marketing capacity with its social media-driven chicken sandwich campaign, the chain was simply not prepared to meet the increased demand that the campaign caused. It is better to be consistent and profitable rather than be trendy and forgotten about. Effective marketing is certainly an advantage for a business, but over the long term, it cannot compensate for shortcomings in its products and services. Though Chick-fil-A has pursued a more careful approach to expansion, its clear advantages suggest that over time it will surpass Popeyes and perhaps even KFC to become the nation’s largest fried chicken restaurant by the number of stores.

Works Cited

  1. ACSI. ‘ACSI Restaurant Report 2018-2019.’ American Consumer Satisfaction Index, 2019, www.theacsi.org/news-and-resources/customer-satisfaction-reports/reports-2019/acsi-restaurant-report-2018-2019/acsi-restaurant-report-2018-2019-download.
  2. Kim, Woo G., and Kim Hong-Bumm. ‘Measuring Customer-Based Restaurant Brand Equity: Investigating the Relationship between Brand Equity and Firms’ Performance.’ Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, vol. 45, no. 2, 2004, pp. 115-131.
  3. Marín, Longinos, Pedro J. Cuestas, and Sergio Román. ‘Determinants of Consumer Attributions of Corporate Social Responsibility.’ Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 138, no. 2, 2016, pp. 247-260.
  4. Tyko, Kelly. ‘Chicken Sandwich War: Popeyes and Chick-fil-A are Clucking for Different Reasons.’ USA Today, 12 Sept. 2019, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/food/2019/09/12/chick-fil-announces-antibiotic-free-chicken-popeyes-says-bring-buns/2290233001/
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Is Chick-fil-A healthier than Popeyes?
While neither sandwich should be considered healthy, Popeyes' appears to be the bigger nutrition bomb, clocking in at 690 calories versus Chick-fil-A's 440 calories . KFC also released a new item that quickly sold out: a plant-based chicken from Beyond Meat. 4 Sept 2019
Is Chick-fil-A or Popeyes better?
Very basic. The Popeyes chicken is much thicker, with a craggly breaded crust that really sets it apart. Chick-Fil-A might win the sauce game —you can't top the classic Chick-Fil-A sauce—but when it comes to chicken, Popeyes wins.
Which is more popular Popeyes or Chick-fil-A?
Chick-fil-A overwhelmingly won the title of best fried chicken sandwich, with the number of people who said it had the best one being 94% of those who recently visited the restaurant, which is how we adjusted for popularity. Popeyes came in second, with 38% of recent Popeyes visitors saying its sandwich was superior.
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