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A city in crisis: Customers scramble to find coveted Popeyes sandwich in Cleveland

Posted at 7:46 PM, Aug 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-25 19:55:24-04

CLEVELAND — By now you’ve probably been made aware of the latest burning issue that has left the nation bitterly divided: who has the best chicken sandwich? The debate has been raging on social media all week. And now it's causing some real-life issues for chicken sandwich lovers in Northeast Ohio.

When Popeyes tweeted on Aug.12 and announced the release of its new chicken sandwich, no one could have expected how big it would be.

Popeyes is going head-to-head with Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s for the unofficial title of best chicken sandwich, which has inspired fast foodies everywhere to venture out and determine the winner firsthand.

Those in Northeast Ohio looking to get in on the trend and pick their side aren’t going to have the easiest time doing so.

With lines of cars spilling into the streets and dining rooms full of eager fried poultry consumers, some stores in Northeast Ohio are running out of the highly sought-after sandwich.

We called about 20 Popeyes locations, and most of our calls went unanswered. Three Popeyes location in the Cleveland area confirmed to News 5 that they are sold out of the sandwiches but should be getting more in on Wednesday.

Dave Hill, a 26-year-old from Cleveland, said he’s tried to go to eight Popeyes locations.

He tweeted during his search:

He said he went to Carnegie, North Hill, Warrensville, Buckeye, Broadway, Clark, Lorain and another—all sold out.

Hill said he tried to call before he went to each store, but, like us, he couldn’t get through.

“You can’t call, not at all,” Hill said.

At each location, Hill gets the same results.

“At one store, a worker told me people have been there since 9:30 a.m.,” he said.

Hill said he went to the drive-thru before he started going inside the locations, waiting nearly an hour before finding out the sandwiches were sold out.

“The line was literally out in the street, wrapping into the street,” Hill said.

Some stores have put signs up at the drive-thru speaker to let customers know before they order that they don't have the sandwiches.

Popeyes Chicken sandwich sold out

Hill said he was going to keep trying others in hopes one still has the new item in stock.

News 5 reached out to Popeyes' public relations reps for comment but have not yet received a response.

As for Popeye’s competitors, Hill said he isn’t even thinking about them.

“I’m holding out on Chick-fil-A to try this sandwich, it’s really that serious,” he said.