TikTok Exposed Why McDonald's Failed In The Chicken Sandwich Wars

If you've been less than satisfied with your McDonald's chicken sandwich recently, you are not alone. McDonald's fans have expressed serious disappointment with the fast food chain's most recent crispy chicken sandwich recipe, which doesn't seem to measure up to their competitors in the fast food market. There is an entire Reddit thread on r/fastfood dedicated to reviewing the subpar chicken sandwich from the Golden Arches, calling their sandwiches "bland" and "a sad attempt for a late entrant with the deepest pockets." As a former employee, one TikToker revealed insider information about McDonald's chicken sandwich decisions, answering one follower's question, "Why is their new chicken sandwich so bad?"


Replying to @robersonsmith0 Former #McDonalds corporate chef talks about chicken sandwiches. #mcdonaldssecrets #mcdonaldslife #McDonaldsChicken #mcdonaldschickensandwich #mcdonaldschickenselects #ChickenSandwich #ChickenWars #chickenwars2023 #chickensandwiches #chickensandwichwar #FYP

♬ original sound – Chef Mike Haracz

Speaking as a McDonald's corporate chef, the TikToker shared, "Even with actual data supporting what I was doing, the marketing owner operator... had more influence on the food than I did." Clearly, the fast food chain should have listened to their chefs and consumers because their newest chicken sandwich is not meeting expectations.

The "chicken sandwich wars" between fast food companies emerged, in part, because of Chick-fil-A's rising popularity. The distinct flavor and simplicity of its chicken sandwich gained serious love amongst fans — the company took it so far as to brag about being "the original" on Twitter back in 2019. No wonder McDonald's ignored the advice of the aforementioned TikToker @chefmikeharacz and opted for the sandwich that attempted to replicate Chick-fil-A's iconic recipe. Unfortunately, points are seldom gained for unoriginality, a lesson that McDonald's is learning the hard way.

Has a winner of the chicken sandwich wars finally been crowned?

Chick-fil-A may have dominated the chicken sandwich charts a few years ago, but many competitors have emerged since their glory days, and not all restaurants made the same mistakes as McDonald's. Fast food chains like Popeyes have given Chick-fil-A a true run for their money with the release of their crispy fried chicken sandwich on a brioche bun with a recognizable Cajun zest. The sandwich gained so much popularity when it was first released in August 2019 that customers were waiting for hours in line, hoping to get their hands on a sandwich before the restaurant ran out of supply. The demand for Popeye's chicken sandwich was so intense there were sandwiches selling for thousands of dollars online, and one man even sued Popeyes for his inability to experience the Southern fried chicken goodness.

Seeing how well these chicken establishments were doing (minus any legal troubles), other fast-food chains wanted in on the action. Soon, KFC released its own take on the classic chicken sandwich, complete with extra thick pickle slices, and Wendy's went back to its roots, offering a "classic chicken sandwich" with ingredients that starkly resembled competitors. Thanks to the chicken sandwich wars, fans have some serious choices to make when deciding which drive-thru to pull into to curb their chicken sandwich craving. If you still need a bit of help, check out the MegaMenu team's definitive list of the best fast-food chicken sandwiches.