Hot Menu Trends to Speed Your Restaurant Recovery
August 10, 2020

Chicken Sandwich by the Numbers

When you look at sales performance among chains that focus on fried chicken in 2020, there’s clear data that shows this segment has outperformed most others during the impact of COVID-19. The key to their success has been a balance between family, regular meal deals, and spicy chicken sandwiches.

Here’s what we found to be the elements for a successful, chicken sandwich.

  1. It’s About Spicy! Yes, specifically hot sauce, such as Texas Pete®, has played a role in adding a kick in flavor to successful chicken sandwiches. The growth has not been just in the QSR segment either. Today, 6.3% of casual restaurants offer a spicy chicken sandwich while 6.2% of QSRs and 5.2% of mid-scale restaurants offer one. Additionally, there is opportunity to add a spicy chicken sandwich within the fast-casual segment where only 3.4% within that segment offer one. Overall, there was an 18.5% jump in the menuing of a spicy chicken sandwich between 2019 and 2020*.
  2. Think about a Texas Pete® & Ranch Dressing Aioli – Ranch dressing was second only to hot sauce among top condiments paired with a fried chicken sandwich in the past year, up nearly 4%*. By combining Texas Pete® or CHA! by Texas Pete® Sriracha Sauce with Ranch, you can create your own signature sauce that will complement your sandwich. Signature sauces can also be used as other applications, such as a dipping sauce, salad dressing and more. Use our calculator to see the revenue potential for creating a signature sauce of your own using Texas Pete®.
  3. Find the perfect pickle! Among all ingredients added to a fried chicken sandwich in the last year, pickles rank #1, up by more than 10%*.
  4. Say Cheddar Jack, CHEESE. Following the spicy kick of a hot sauce is growth in the use of Cheddar Jack Cheese, up 16.7%* in the past year.
  5. Take a look at Buffalo Wing Sauce. In some restaurants, Buffalo Wing Sauce is being used as an alternative to hot sauce for spicy chicken sandwiches. Texas Pete® offers a variety of options, including an Extra Mild Wing Sauce.

We all need a winner as we rebuild this year. Adding a spicy chicken sandwich with a signature sauce on your menu can be part of that recovery in the months ahead.

*Datassential, August 2020