Burger King enters chicken sandwich wars with the Ch’King
Burger King’s Ch’King Sandwich
Source: Burger King
Burger King will enter the Chicken Sandwich Wars in June with the Ch’King, which picks up on the trendy menu item.
The Restaurant Brands International chain is following in the footsteps of sister chain Popeyes, which launched its own blockbuster sandwich in August 2019. For a year and a half, the roast chicken chain has seen double-digit sales growth driven by the popularity of the sandwich. Since then, competing fast food chains including McDonald’s and Yum Brands’ KFC have launched their own versions.
Burger King tries to stand out from the crowd by hand breading its chicken. A step that takes time, training, and new equipment. Ellie Doty, Marketing Director for Burger King North America, said in an interview that it took the chain two years to perfect the recipe and figure out how the process works for their restaurants.
“We really took the time to get everything right, to get the staff into the restaurant and to make sure that the hand bread station in every restaurant is set up properly,” said Doty.
Ch’King’s launch also comes as the country faces a chicken shortage caused in part by the chicken sandwich wars and shortage of poultry processors. The price of chicken breast, which is often used in chicken sandwiches, is rising. The Wall Street Journal reported that in response, KFC restaurants are restricting sales of their chicken sandwich. Doty said Burger King is not immune to macroeconomic factors, but that the chain has taken steps to ensure its supply chain can handle pressure.
“In order to take the time to get this right, we also took the time to ensure that we have a very robust supply chain that is in place for the main scenario we forecast and other possible scenarios,” she said .
Doty said the Ch’King’s name was inspired by a customer who tried the menu item during testing and said the chain should change its name to Chicken King.
To celebrate the nationwide launch on June 3, customers who order Ch’King via the Burger King app or online will receive a free Whopper in addition to the chicken sandwich. The deal runs through June 20th. It’s the first big promotion for Burger King since launching its nationwide loyalty program.
Restaurant Brands International’s shares are up 10% so far this year, for a market value of $ 31.3 billion. While Burger King and Popeyes’ U.S. locations have quickly recovered from the pandemic, Tim Hortons is taking longer to get customers back to his cafes.