Product Managers Deal With A Sandwich That Is Too Popular

The Popeyes chicken sandwich is going to return
The Popeyes chicken sandwich is going to return
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The dream of every product manager is to be responsible for a product that is so popular that it flies off of the shelves. We dream of the day that we have to spend our time worrying about how we are going to keep our product in stock because it is selling out so fast. It turns out that this is exactly the problem that the product managers at the fast food chain Popeyes have been dealing with. When they decided to introduce a new chicken sandwich, they had no idea how popular it would be. That’s when all of the trouble started.

The Problem With Being Too Popular

Just in case you didn’t know it, there is a chicken war going on in the fast food industry right now. The cause of this was is the fast food restaurant Popeyes. They updated their product development definition and introduced a new crispy chicken sandwich. This was the first time that Popeyes had ever rolled out a chicken sandwich nationally. This was not something that they did lightly. Instead, they had spent two years testing the sandwich in order to make sure that they had gotten it right.

What makes the Popeyes chicken sandwich special is that it features filets from small-breasted chickens, which tend to be favored by restaurant chains and are in tighter supply than larger chickens. In order to get their hands on the types of chickens that they knew that they needed, the Popeyes product managers engaged in a great deal of negotiations with the chicken suppliers. During these negotiations, the product managers were careful to focus on costs. The company that owns the Popeyes chain has a reputation for having intense attention on both cost control and bargaining.

The negotiations for the chickens that Popeyes needed to create their sandwiches got toucher when it was realized that supplies of the chickens were low. The suppliers had pre-existing commitments with Popeyes competitors. The good news is the chicken production is currently high, but unfortunately so is demand for chicken. Servings of breaded chicken sandwiches sold in fast-food chains grew by 4% last year. What happened when Popeyes rolled out their sandwich was that their sales far exceeded their expectations. This was fueled by a viral social-media campaign that was backed by a set of snarky exchanges between Popeyes product managers and their competitors. In the end, there were lines out the door at many of Popeyes 2,400 U.S. locations.

How The Popeyes Product Managers Are Going To Make Their Sandwich Available

Once this happened, the Popeyes product managers had to spend months hunting for ingredients. This is going to be one of the most highly anticipated comebacks for a food product. After they ran out of their chicken sandwich, the Popeyes product managers spent two months securing suppliers who could meet their specifications for quantity and small breast size chicken. At the same time, they also had to ensure that they had a supply of the sandwich’s brioche bun.

Popeyes launched their new chicken sandwich in mid-August. By the end of August they had run out of the sandwich. Popeye’s ended up running through a supply that had been intended to last them for three months in just 14 days! Who wouldn’t want that on their product manager resume? The value of the company’s stock has gone up simply because of the success of their new chicken sandwich. Sales in their stores have gone up by 5%.

The product managers at Popeyes are now viewing their chicken sandwich as being a major part of how they want to drive their international expansion. The Popeyes product managers are a key part of the company’s owner’s plans to expand their combined brands to more than 40,000 locations worldwide. Asia will be a key part of this expansion plan and chicken is very popular there.

What All Of This Means For You

Having a successful products is the dream of every product manager. It turns out that at the Popeyes fast-food chain the product managers there have created a chicken sandwich that is so popular that it is flying out of the store. In fact, they have sold out of this sandwich. Now the product managers have to look at their product manager job description and figure out how they are going to make more sandwiches and how they can go about relaunching it. Thanks to a viral social media campaign, demand for the Popeyes sandwiches exploded and they quickly sold out.

Popeyes caused a chicken sandwich war to erupt in the fast-food industry. They had spent two years researching how they wanted to create their chicken sandwich before they rolled it out. The Popeyes chicken sandwich is special because it features chicken from small breasted birds. The Popeyes product managers had to negotiate to get supplies of these types of chicken breasts. When they ran out, they had to go back and renegotiate with suppliers to line up the proper supplies of everything that they would need to create more chicken sandwiches. These chicken sandwiches are now being seen as a key part of Popeyes plans for international expansion.

We all want to be successful. The Popeye’s product managers were surprised by just how popular their new chicken sandwiches were! When they ran out, they had to scramble in order to create supply chains that would prevent them from running out in the future. When the sandwich gets reintroduced we’ll have to watch carefully and see if Popeyes can meet the demand for their chicken!

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™

Question For You: How can the Popeyes product managers guarantee that they won’t run out of product again?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

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