A group of angry customers rushed a Houston Popeyes on Monday night after being denied the chain’s popular new chicken sandwich.
According to ABC13, an “armed mob” of two women, three men, and a baby “stormed” the branch in apparent outrage that drive-thru would not sell them the temporarily discontinued item. Police said one of the men was carrying a gun when the customers tried to enter the restaurant, but a Popeyes employee was able to lock the door before they could get in.
The group left the baby behind in their black SUV during the ordeal. No injuries were reported.
When police responded to the scene just after 9 p.m., the customers were gone. Investigators are working on a description of the customers.
Popeyes, known for its cajun-inspired fried chicken, introduced the chicken sandwich last month, sparking a culture war with market hegemon Chic-fil-A.
The two chains sparred on Twitter, and many liberals rallied to Popeyes defense, citing its Baptist owners longtime opposition to gay marriage. Popeyes’ Twitter following spiked by 60 percent after the exchange.
… y’all good? https://t.co/lPaTFXfnyP
— Popeyes Chicken (@PopeyesChicken) August 19, 2019
Meanwhile, LGBT magazine The Advocate ran a story about Popeye’s sandwich under the headline “More Flavor, Less Homophobia,” and the New Yorker’s food writer Helen Rosen said, “Popeyes appeals as a chicken sandwich with less overt moral compromise.”
Before armed mob storms Popeyes, a supply side problem
Popeyes’ popularity, however, proved problematic in its own way. Admittedly surprised by the runaway success of their chicken sandwich launch, executives soon saws their branches selling out of the item nationwide. On Aug. 26, the company was forced to suspend sales of the sensational sandwich.
“We made a decision to stop, but technically, it wasn’t a decision,” Felipe Athayde, the Popeyes president for the United States market, told The New York Times last week. “We came to the realization we were stopping. There was no alternative.”
A week before Popeyes pulled the emergency brake, one customer had attempted to sell his Popeyes sandwich online for $100, plus a $38.52 delivery fee.
Another customer was so enraged by the sandwich being sold out that he filed a lawsuit against the company.