The entree that sparked this summer’s Chicken Sandwich War is coming back and renewing the battle.
More than two months after Popeyes sold out of its newly released and first nationwide chicken sandwich, on Monday the chicken chain announced it will return Nov. 3, coinciding with National Sandwich Day.
“The Popeyes Chicken Sandwich was launched in August as a permanent addition to our menu,” said Felipe Athayde, president of Popeyes for the Americas, in a statement to USA TODAY. “We sold through our inventory due to unprecedented demand, so the product was temporarily unavailable, but now we’re excited to say it’s back for good.”
The re-launch also falls on a Sunday – a rare day for a menu item launch – but is a day when rival Chick-fil-A is closed.
How the Chicken Sandwich War began:Popeyes, Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s are clucking on social media over who has best sandwich
Sold out:Popeyes sold out of its popular chicken sandwich in late August
Almost immediately after Popeyes started selling the sandwich on Aug. 12, reports started circulating that the New Orleans-style fried chicken on a bun was selling out at some locations and leading to long waits.
Then a week after the launch, Popeyes started a viral Twitter feud with Chick-fil-A and other restaurants, and the battle lines were drawn over which chicken chain had the better sandwich.
“Word traveled fast that the sandwich is delicious and created an unprecedented demand. A lot of the buzz was created organically on social media,” Athayde said. “Our guests were engaging with us and we decided to have some fun alongside them.”
Then on Aug. 27, Popeyes announced the sandwiches were sold out and the company was working with suppliers to bring it back as soon as possible.
Athayde said most Popeyes restaurants are franchised and that employment matters are handled by the franchisees.
“Across the system, franchisees have worked to increase staffing to be ready to serve guests once the chicken sandwich returns,” he said. “We’ve learned from this experience and are looking forward to serving the Chicken Sandwich to our guests again.”
In August, USA TODAY conducted an unscientific Chicken Sandwich Bracket Twitter poll.
In the first round, the top seed Chick-fil-A easily took down KFC with more than 80% of the vote while chicken sandwich newcomer Popeyes vanquished Wendy’s, capturing 69% of the vote, to set up the final round we all expected.
In the final round, 54% of the 5,062 votes cast were for Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A and 46% for Popeyes.
In a short, 20-second long YouTube video posted Monday announcing the return, a highway sign showing Popeyes and Chick-fil-A’s names is updated to add the words “open Sunday” under Popeyes, a dig at its competition, which is well-known for staying closed on Sundays.
Popeyes also shared images promoting the sandwich’s return: “Y’all … The Sandwich is back. This Sunday. Yes. Sunday.”
Chick-fil-A’ schedule does have a major fan: Kanye West’s new “Jesus is King” album has a song called “Closed on Sunday” where he mentions Chick-fil-A with the lyrics, “Closed on Sunday, you my Chick-fil-A. You’re my number one, with the lemonade.”
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko