The Chicken Sandwich wars are coming to breakfast

By Tim Nelson
January 28, 2020
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Remember the Chicken Sandwich Wars of 2019? Back in that distant time, it felt like every fast food chain had to offer a chicken sandwich and every consumer had to pick a favorite. Surprisingly, mega corporation McDonald’s missed that boat, letting Popeyes, Chick-fil-A and others duke it out. The situation got so dire that franchisees were reduced to practically begging for a “viral” chicken sandwich.

Well, it seems like those poultry pleas have finally been answered— at least on the breakfast menu. After many months of sitting things out, McDonald’s has finally officially introduced two new chicken sandwiches aimed at AM eaters: the McChicken Biscuit and the Chicken McGriddle.

According to a press release announcing the nationwide rollout of the “staple[s] long-beloved by McDonald’s Southern customers,” each of these menu items are a relatively straightforward take on the chicken sandwich, eschewing fancy frills and add-ons to put the focus on a good piece of chicken placed between two non-traditional types of “bun.”

The McChicken Biscuit is described as “a warm, buttery biscuit paired with our beloved McChicken sandwich,” an existing take on chicken from McDonald’s that apparently doesn’t meet franchisees’ arbitrary definition of virality. More interestingly, the Chicken McGriddle takes “soft, warm griddle cakes with the sweet taste of maple,” and pairs it with that “fan-favorite” McChicken.

For better or worse, it looks like these breakfast chicken sandwiches will only be available for a limited time, either to drum up interest through the creation of arbitrary scarcity, or because this is some kind of nationwide test to gauge how the McDonald’s-eating public feels about breakfast chicken. Probably both!

Going the breakfast route is an interesting choice, but perhaps a wise one for McDonald’s. It seems like there’s less competition outside of Chick-fil-A when it comes to morning chicken menu items, and this move could boost breakfast sales at a time when Wendy’s is set to make a big breakfast push of its own.

So if you’ve been waiting for McDonald’s to finally introduce a killer chicken sandwich, you better set your alarm and get moving. Maybe if you and everyone you know buy enough Chicken McGriddles, McDonald’s will think about doing a chicken sandwich for lunch next.