On February 24, McDonald's restaurants across America started selling the chain's long-anticipated new chicken sandwich in three versions: the Crispy Chicken Sandwich, Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich, and the Deluxe Crispy Chicken Sandwich. And while public opinion on the new items seemed to be split, with some loving them and others saying this is another unsuccessful chicken sandwich attempt for the burger giant, McDonald's seemed to have benefited from all the hype nevertheless.
On the day of the launch, McDonald's saw an impressive 19% jump in foot traffic when data from multiple locations was averaged together, according to Yahoo! Finance. In the subsequent days, interest remained heightened at McDonald's restaurants, with in-store visits reportedly up by 29% the day after the new menu items launched, and remaining up by an average of 16% for the remainder of the week.
McDonald's renewed popularity came at a time when the chain had seen a nearly 30% drop in year-over-year business the week prior to the sandwich unveiling.
Yahoo! Finance analyst Alexandra Canal suggested the pre-chicken sandwich slump in sales was a product of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as bitterly cold weather conspiring to keep customers home. However, the chicken sandwiches proved successful enough not only to significantly increase restaurant visits but even leading to a more favorable evaluation of the McDonald's stock by Deutsche Bank.
McDonald's sales are expected to keep recovering thanks to the stimulus checks boost and the new sandwiches, according to a poll among its franchisees who have reported great momentum in the first quarter. However, whether or not McDonald's manages to beat out its Chicken Sandwich Wars competition in the long run is yet to be seen.
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