By Mike Thayer
There's been a chicken sandwich war going on in fast food, it started in 2019 and it's still going on today.
Shots fired! Chick-fil-A made headlines in 2019 becoming the third largest fast food chain, led with their classic chicken sandwich. Popeyes reacted by putting a new chicken sandwich on the menu and consumers went crazy over it, so crazy in fact, Popeyes ran out of ammo. Already armed with a spicy chicken sandwich, Wendy's entered the battlefield that year by bringing back their spicy chicken nuggets, fans of the item went in a Twitter frenzy.
Popeye's Chicken Sandwich has been so popular, it is now considered THE gold standard for a chicken sandwich. So how do all the other fast food joints stack up? In the name of 'food science' (cough), I intend to find out.
In this Chicken Sandwich War Challenge, sandwiches are evaluated and scored on the following criteria: Visual appeal, the meat, bun, meat to bun ratio, crunch factor, the pickle/mayo and of course, overall taste. There are 1-9 points available for each category for a total possible total score of 63.
Today I sampled Chick-fil-A's Original Chicken Sandwich. Full disclosure, I've had this sandwich a few times, so I know what I'm getting, but it had to be sampled again for the purpose of this challenge and in the name of yes, you read it right the first time.....(cough), food science.
Chick-fil-A is THE #1 chicken joint in the country and the LONG drive through lines are a measure of proof. It took me 20 minutes to get through the line today during the noon lunch hour. It's actually TWO lines of traffic being served going WAY beyond the perimeter of the restaurant property and my neighborhood restaurant is ALWAYS busy like that! Chick-fil-A has this down to a science, having employees actually out in the lanes taking orders and delivering food. If they did drive through the traditional way, the ordering process and wait would be FAR longer. It was raining today, the help had rain bubble gear on and I'd say there were a good 12 - 15 people working those drive through lanes it was that busy during the lunch hour.
Enough about the drive through process, "What about the sandwich?" you ask..... Two things that make this sandwich work are that the chicken is seasoned well and the meat to bun ratio is spot on. Two things that need work: You don't get pickle in every bite and you have to order mayo or sauce, this sandwich comes 'naked' otherwise. Overall, it's a good sandwich, but not a great sandwich. It's prepared efficiently, chicken is juicy, tender, but there's no 'WOW' factor to it. Let me put it this way, if the state fair had a chicken sandwich contest, Chick-fil-A would not earn a blue ribbon.
I paid $7.62 for my Chick-fil-A combo meal - gotta love those waffle fries! - a reasonable price that is Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly. This chicken sandwich scored 53 out of 63 possible points, putting in the middle of the pack as far as fast food chicken sandwiches go. It's a decent sandwich and reasonably priced, the service is top notch polite, but it's not the best chicken sandwich out there. I have to say it's not even close. The Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich gets 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars, it's worthy of a repeat buy, but it's a Plan B kind of thing.
The Chick-fil-A restaurant visited on this occasion is located at 7990 E Central Ave, Wichita, KS 67206. The service at Chick-fil-A is second-to-none, very polite, very efficient, but due to the volume of traffic it took 20 minutes to get my meal at the noon hour. Yes, that's kind of a testimony to how popular Chick-fil-A is with that much traffic, but we're talking fast food here and there are better chicken sandwiches out there.
$pend Wisely My Friends.....
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Related: Popeye's Classic Chicken Sandwich
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