McDonald's Fires Spicy BBQ Shot in Chicken Sandwich Wars
As far as the fast food world is concerned, 2019 has been the year of the chicken. (Take that, so-called "Year of the Pig.") Back in May, over 2 million Twitter users convinced Wendy's to bring back spicy nuggets. In June, Chick-fil-A made headlines by officially claiming the title of America's third largest fast food chain in terms of sales. And more recently, people have been losing their minds over Popeyes chicken sandwich. Meanwhile, over the summer, McDonald's franchisees, apparently feeling left behind, flat out demanded the chain add an awesome new chicken sandwich. Well, today, McDonald's announced it will be launching a new chicken sandwich nationwide — though whether it will appease the public appetite is yet to be determined.
Arriving for a limited time starting on September 11 is the new Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich — as well as its non-bunned counterpart, Spicy BBQ Glazed Tenders. The sandwich is described as featuring "our classic Buttermilk Crispy fillet made with all-white meat and served on a sesame seed bun with slivered onions, pickles and topped with that same smoky, sweet, with medium heat Spicy BBQ glaze." As for the tenders, McDonald's writes, "Picture our classic Buttermilk Crispy Tenders, battered and breaded to perfection, hand-tossed and perfectly sauced to order in our new, mouthwatering Spicy BBQ glaze that contains just a hint of jalapeno." The launch of these items isn't a surprise: McDonald's has been testing them in "several restaurants since the beginning of the year," and news leaked that they'd be going nationwide in June.
That timeline could prove to be a problem. Since McDonald's has been testing these items for months, that means that they aren't a direct reaction either to franchisees' demand for a Chick-fil-A-like sandwich or to the ensuing Popeyes chicken sandwich craze. And in fact, as the announcement states, in some regards, these aren't really "new" chicken items at all: They are existing items that are simply being served in a new Spicy BBQ sauce. As such, though fast food fans like their spice (exhibit A: Wendy's), this new chicken sandwich could potentially let down customers who are still preoccupied with how they can't track down one of Popeyes sold out sammies.
And yet, McDonald's is staying optimistic. "The excitement that spicy flavors bring is something we know our customers have always loved," Todd Manisco, manager of menu innovation at McDonald's, said in the announcment. "And we're thrilled to now be offering up that excitement nationwide with a tasty kick to our chicken menu."
But possibly more importantly — perhaps out of necessity — the McDonald's announcement ends with a vague line that leaves the door open for something maybe a bit more on trend. Discussing this "latest evolution in McDonald's chicken offerings," the chain concludes by stating, "And we can't wait to show you what's next." Hey, McDonald's, not waiting much longer might be a good idea.