December 5, 2022

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What Really Happened at Wingstop Sold Out Chicken Sandwich?

Wingstop has finally added some of its own to the Chicken Sandwich Battle, though they arrived rather late. The fast-food chain, which is best known for its wings, debuted chicken sandwiches in 12 flavors last week. Social media went crazy for Wingstop, but not for the company’s out-of-stock chicken sandwiches. Instead, consumers responded to a tweet that quickly caused an online ruckus

Just a quick history tour, Wingstop Inc. which was established in 1994 and has its corporate office in Dallas, Texas, runs and franchises more than 1,850 locations across the globe. The Wing Experts are dedicated to Serving the World Flavor by providing an unparalleled guest experience and utilizing a best-in-class technological platform, all while giving traditional and boneless wings and tenders that are constantly cooked to order. 

The menu at Wingstop also offers its trademark sides, such as freshly-made ranch and bleu cheese dips, as well as freshly-cut, seasoned fries.

Currently, Wingstop claims to be out of chicken sandwiches. How did that happen?

Wingstop tweeted an additional clarification, saying, “Our 12 new chicken sandwiches are so good, they’re SOLD OUT.”

Wingstop’s Twitter account

This may sound familiar because shortages brought on by successful social media campaigns are now a thing. In 2019, after Popeyes introduced a renowned sandwich, we witnessed it. This year, when Taco Bell brought back its Mexican Pizza—which will soon return—we witnessed it, giving the company’s brand another marketing boost.

 

Could the Shortage at Wingstop be a Little Bit Planned?

With approximately 1,600 locations across the United States, Dallas-based Wingstop is also 98% franchised, and according to marketing experts like Neil Culbertson, president of marketing and business consulting firm Growth Partners LLC, “Some franchisees hate surprises unless they are that great. They do not want to inform their customers that a product is unavailable. Who wants that with the difficulties in finding qualified candidates today? It’s a major headache for front-line employees.” 

Since the pandemic started, supply chain problems have undoubtedly affected many restaurant businesses, so a shortage amid rising demand is not entirely unexpected. In contrast, Wingstop reported that in just six days, the chain sold more than 1 million chicken sandwiches. All of them share the same fundamental elements, but the dry rub or sauce applied to the chicken patty varies. Here are the 12 mouthwatering flavors:

  • Atomic (the spiciest of all 12 sandwiches)
  • Cajun
  • Mango Habanero
  • Original Hot
  • Louisiana Rub
  • Hawaiian
  • Garlic Parmesan
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Hickory Smoked BBQ
  • Mild
  • Louisiana Rub
  • Hawaiian 

According to a press release, the sandwich exceeded expectations for chicken sales by 300% and outperformed Super Bowl Sunday transaction levels by selling out in less than six days. “The launch of our 12-flavor Wingstop Chicken Sandwich surpassed all of our expectations.” Michael Skipworth, the CEO, said.

“We experienced unexpected, extraordinary demand from both our regular customers and a large number of new Wingstop customers thanks to our irresistible product and viral marketing strategy. We anticipate having chicken sandwich supply back in restaurants soon so that fans and new customers alike can get their hands on their new favorite chicken sandwich thanks to strong, trustworthy relationships with supplier partners,” he added.

Is this clever marketing? A scam? A hack? Has the Twitter password been compromised by an unpaid intern in some way? We think that although no one is sure, it doesn’t conjure up images of a family-friendly restaurant where you can sate your chicken wing craving. 

“The nationwide launch of the Wingstop Chicken Sandwich is an opportunity to bring new guests to the brand by proving our position as The Flavor Experts, and reward our existing fanbase by putting menu innovation on center stage,” Stacy Peterson, Wingstop’s Chief Revenue and Technology Officer said in a statement. “The Wingstop Chicken Sandwich doesn’t just come in one flavor – fans can choose from our 12 bold, signature flavors. We’re so confident in the product that we’re incentivizing fans to split from their current chicken contender and find a new favorite chicken sandwich at Wingstop.”

 

Check out a Sneak Peek of Chicken Sandwiches!

Courtesy of Wingstop

Popeyes has consistently won the title of best-fried chicken sandwich, but fast-casual chains and traditional fast food chains alike continue to produce new crispy poultry sandwiches to challenge the king. Wingstop is only the most recent. The man who sells chicken wings is urging customers to switch from their “bland breaded sandwiches” to something better. Wingstop debuted its own chicken sandwich this week, which comes in 12 delicious flavors.

All of the sandwiches, according to a news release, are made with toasted buns and have pickle chips on top. You can serve them with ranch, blue cheese, or honey mustard dip. The pickles give the sandwich a little tang, compensated for some of the crunches that the heavily-sauced chicken lacked, and prevented it from being a depressing chicken-and-bread meal.

Combo meals come with 20-ounce soft drinks, fries, or veggie sticks. A standalone order of the sandwich will cost $5.49, or $7.99 for a larger combo that features fries and a drink. The dry rub is used on some of the sandwiches. In contrast to competitors’ sandwiches, which may add a dollop of sauce, but typically on the bun, others’ chicken is tossed in sauce, giving it a more robust flavor. 

And the fact that the bun is occasionally smaller than the chicken means that you might not taste any sauce in the first few bites and that you will likely consume less sauce overall because the chicken, which makes up the larger portion of the sandwich, is not sauced.

For this reason, Wingstop’s saucy sandwiches outperformed rivals in terms of flavor consistency with every bite. Since the sauce was applied to the chicken rather than the bun, and it did so fairly evenly and liberally, you could be sure that every bite would contain the desired flavor.

 

Want to Give it a Try?

The sales indicate that a lot of consumers want the option to customize their meals. Wingstop’s 12 new flavors give it a crucial way to appeal to those customers since the majority of chicken sandwiches at huge fast food chains are still only available in the plain or spicy form. When they come back in stock, you might like to experience one of these Wingstop’s new sandwiches!