Proof that Popeyes is winning the chicken sandwich wars

The chicken sandwich wars were hot this week between rival fast-food restaurants Popeyes (QSR), Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s (WEN).

But regardless of opinion on which tastes the best, Popeyes was the clear winner on Twitter, according to alternative-data company Thinknum.

Thinknum’s data found that Popeyes’ Twitter followers jumped noticeably after the online battle. Before the Twitter fight, Popeyes had about 107,000 followers, but in the span of just about one day, the count rose by 25,000, or 25%. Popeyes currently has about 138,000 Twitter followers as of Thursday afternoon. Though Chick-fil-A’s Twitter gain wasn’t as big, the chicken chain did add about 10,000 new followers post feud. Chick-fil-A has about 1 million Twitter followers.

Popeyes' Twitter followers (Thinknum)
Popeyes' Twitter followers (Thinknum)

It all started when Popeyes decided to jump into the chicken sandwich game by launching its own version to take on rivals Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s.

Last week, Popeyes tweeted a harmless promotion for its newest menu item.

Chick-fil-A then posted a passive-aggressive stab at Popeyes with the following tweet:

Popeyes clucked back with a snarky response. And thus, the chicken sandwich wars ensued with the following back-and-forth between restaurants:

The hilarious Twitter battle certainly had its benefits. Popeyes customers reported that the chicken sandwiches at several stores were sold out. On Tuesday, Yahoo Finance had to go to four different Popeyes locations in Manhattan before finding a restaurant that still had some sandwiches available.

Competition has been increasingly fierce in the fast-food space, with companies focusing on new menu items, value deals, tech and delivery in order to drive sales. In its most recently reported quarter, Popeyes, whose parent company is Restaurant Brands International, saw strong same-store sales growth that exceeded analyst expectations.

Restaurant Brands and Wendy’s shares have been far outperforming the broader market this year. Shares of Restaurant Brands have soared 47%, while Wendy’s jumped 38%, and the S&P 500 (^GSPC) is up about 18% in the same time period.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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