Popeyes put its money where its mouth was…actually where its customers’ mouths were.

This week the chicken-spiced fast fooder introduced its latest deep fried creation, the Cajun Flounder Sandwich. And given American’s general reluctance to venture onto the fishy side of the menu, it offered what would seem to be an unprecedented offer: Pay 15 cents more for your sandwich as a kind of culinary insurance and if you don’t like what you’re eating we’ll give you one of our chicken sandwiches — which we know you love — for free.

The deal was for one day only, on last Thursday’s launch, and so far the company has not said how many of its customers cashed in their policies. But coming the week before the start of Lent, when practicing Christians avoid eating meat on Fridays, the marketing stunt has be considered a pretty smart move.

As such, it follows in the fried footsteps of the chain’s chicken sandwich which took the fast food sector by an even faster storm when it debuted in 2019. Even in a crowded marketplace where Chick-Fil-A has been the leader in putting flavored foul between bread, the Popeyes sandwich has been a big winner. Its short supply at its debut, driven by social media and perhaps a little creative supply chain management, has since become an ongoing success story for the chain.

The rest of the chicken sandwich business has been playing catch-up ever since. KFC, which one would think would be a leader in this category given its heritage, has tried a barnyard’s worth of sandwich initiatives with only modest successes and is believed to be on the verge of yet another try. Other fast fooders, from McDonald’s MCD to Burger King to Arby’s are all trying to get their chicken sandwich acts together, yet remain more than a few clucks behind.

Popeye’s is of course hoping for a chicken-like outcome for its fish sandwich, following the same recipe with a toasted brioche bun, Cajun spices and let’s not forget, “barrel cured pickles.”

Fish sandwiches being…well, fish and not burgers or chicken…have never sold in the numbers of their land-based brethren with McDonalds’s MCD Filet-o-Fish believed to be the industry leader. Popeye’s itself has had deep fried shrimp offerings on its menu for years but this is its first filet-style sandwich.


And even though the insurance promo was only for one day the company’s CEO said he expects this latest item “to reset industry standards.” In other words Popeye’s is hoping things will go swimmingly.

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