McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich May Be Winning the ‘Chicken Sandwich Wars’ Based on Sales

by Emily Morgan

McDonald’s demand for its new Crispy Chicken sandwich contributed to the chain’s strongest sales growth it hasn’t seen in more than a decade.

This year, the iconic golden arches exceeded its sales performance from two years ago in their second quarter. The world’s largest burger chain increased its sales by 57 percent to $5.9 billion in the second quarter, which ended June 30.

According to the company, global comparable sales were up 7 percent from 2019. At the same time, similar sales in the US shot up 15 percent over the same period— their best quarterly growth rate in 15 years.

“In the US, the success of our Crispy Chicken Sandwich continued into the second quarter,” chief executive Chris Kempczinski said about the performance. “We are borrowing from what has been successful in other markets like the spicy chicken sandwich, which launched in China 20 years ago,” he continued.

Helping raise their numbers is the companies’ latest celebrity-endorsed meal by the Korean boy band, BTS. According to Kempczinski, that implementation added to the sales surge and described it as “dynamite.”

McDonald’s began offering the BTS Meal in May for a limited time. The popular meal included a 10-piece order of Chicken McNuggets, medium fries and Coke, two dipping sauces — sweet chili and Cajun flavors — inspired by McDonald’s South Korean stores. It was also the first celebrity meal to go on sale worldwide.

McDonald’s also promoted a limited-edition line of merchandise and ran a television commercial, among other things, to add to revenue.

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The chain’s digital sales also increased by 70 percent or nearly $8 billion compared to 2020. This month, McDonald’s debuted its first-ever rewards program within its app, which is “the most downloaded [quick service] app in the US,” said Kempczinski.

As the pandemic looms in the background, nearly 70 percent of the chain’s US dining rooms have reopened. At the same time, almost 100 percent of its dining rooms are expected to be open by Labor Day. This is pending any delays from the COVID-19 Delta variant, Kempczinski added.

In addition, the chain has also seen a surge in job applications, the CEO said. “

I do think that there is evidence that as the federal stimulus rolls off, that you’ll see an improvement in the application rate,” he added.

As many know, the race to best chicken sandwich has continued to accelerate. Other chains have been refreshing their take on the classic item. McDonald’s began serving its new selection of chicken sandwiches in February.

In addition to the new menu items, McDonald’s said bigger order sizes and higher prices added to its US sales. Increases in delivery and digital orders also helped.

Now, the company is trying to keep its momentum in online orders. It implemented a national rewards program in July. When customers order online, restaurants learn their preferences and have a better chance at keeping their attention.