The Chicken Sandwich Wars – A Brief History

The battle lines for the chicken sandwich wars were drawn in 2019 and since then numerous fast-food restaurants have been battling it out for dominance, to prove they have the best chicken sandwiches. 

History of the Chicken Sandwich Wars

On August 12, 2019, the chicken sandwich war for supremacy began with a glimmer. That’s when Popeyes debuted its now-famous fried chicken sandwich, a debut that went virtually unnoticed until rival Chick-fil-A promoted its sandwich as the original on Twitter. Popeyes fired back with a sweet tweet dripping with Southern charm, setting off a social media storm, ensuing the chicken wars. 

In less than a week, Popeyes’ outlets had massive lineups outside their restaurant doors.  Several outlets were even sold out of fried chicken sandwiches for the day. The popularity of this single item was primarily responsible for Popeyes’ claimed 38 percent increase in same-store sales in Q4 2019.

Every fast-food chain wanted a piece of the chicken wars hype and thus ensued the chicken sandwich wars. Everyone saw the potential in the chicken sandwich offering. Most of the famous fast-food chains already had a chicken sandwich on the menu, but most required a restoration of their original recipe. During the pandemic, every business faced a slowdown. During this time practically every restaurant chain assigned their culinary teams to create a kickass chicken sandwich that would “rise above the rest.”

Since the “chicken sandwich war,” to the consumers’ delight, new chicken sandwiches kept getting launched by most of the top restaurant chains. Everyone boasts of having larger and juicer filets, premium buns, and delicious toppings. But the question lies in, which restaurant has the best selection of chicken sandwiches.

Here’s why we think, we do!

About “Mary Brown’s” Chicken Sandwiches

At Mary Brown’s, we take pride in our heritage. In 1969, as the world watched the first man walk on the moon, we celebrated the first guest walking through our doors in St.John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador. 

Since then, we have constantly strived to grow as a restaurant chain while staying true to our roots. Staying true to our Canadian roots, we are 100% committed to local farmers, Canadian suppliers, and the communities where our stores are located. 

All this talk! So what makes our sandwich so good?

The Truth is in the Chicken

As we mentioned, all our chicken products are freshly sourced from local farmers, ensuring you only get the best quality fried chicken. To ensure this is true, we only source whole Canadian grade A chickens. This truly makes our chicken fillets for the chicken sandwiches big and juicy, so you know our products are just not another marketing gimmick. 

All our chicken is prepared freshly by hand, in-store. This involves marination, hand-cut, and hand-breaded freshly cooked chicken. All our chicken is cooked in small batches to ensure freshness. 

What makes our chicken even greater is the proprietary cookers we use to fry our chicken. Unlike other restaurant chains that pressure fry their chicken, our proprietary cookers use heat to seal in the juiciness and flavour, giving our fried chicken a scrumptious looking natural golden colour. 

Canada’s Top 10 Chicken Sandwiches

If you’re not convinced by our word, here’s a top 10 list of Canada’s best & worst chicken sandwiches,  put together by The hive reviewed the top restaurant for the best fast food chicken sandwich and named the Mary Brown’s chicken sandwich the best in Canada. Here’s what their findings uncovered. 

1. Mary Brown’s

In Canada, Mary Brown’s is the holy grail of fast-food chicken, a dark horse if you will. Besides having the best fast-food chicken sandwich, Mary Brown’s also offers delicious taters. Hive says the chicken sandwich by Mary Brown is unrivalled. 

The combination of spices is lovely, the breading is crisp, and the rectangular patty confirms that this sandwich is produced with real chicken. The Hive says Mary Brown boasts the best fast food chicken sandwich in Canada, hands down.

2. Wendy’s

Give credit where credit is due- Wendy’s is one of the original chicken sandwich joints for many years. They offer a spicy chicken sandwich and a unique process for creating their menu items. That’s why it comes second on the list.

3. A&W

The highlight of their menu is the chubby chicken sandwich, however, the bun-to-chicken ratio of the sandwich leaves much to be desired. A&W does offer protein-style sandwich customization to deal with this issue. 

4. Popeyes

Popeyes is the reason behind the chicken sandwich war, and we need to thank them for it since the war was the reason why so many new chicken sandwiches have emerged recently. Popeyes has the spiciest chicken on the list. However, they use a spicy sauce to elevate the taste of the patty and the spices are not baked into the patty. 

5. KFC

KFC has been one of the biggest chicken restaurants in our modern-day. However, their flagship sandwich, the Big Crunch, is said to be fairly disappointing. The patty is said to live up to its name for being crunchy, but the crunchiness is also what makes the sandwich dry. 

6. McDonald’s

The McChicken has even less going for it. The criticism is that the McChicken hasn’t really improved in years, and the chicken patty used for the sandwich is just as good as frozen chicken fillets you can buy at a grocery store. However, their junior chicken sandwich has much more to offer, in that it’s a tastier and cheaper option. 

7. Burger King

Burger King offers a football-shaped sandwich, and its taste is fairly respectable. However, they are mostly known for their hamburgers and their chicken sandwich could be a hit or miss. 

8. Arby’s 

Yes, Arby’s does offer a chicken sandwich, for those wondering. The sandwich has very less to speak about and is described as a standard sandwich with nothing too good or bad about it. 

9. Harvey’s

Harvey’s is known for their hamburgers. However, their chicken sandwich can be a hit or miss. Also, since their chicken sandwiches aren’t one of the most popular items on the menu, the freshness of the sandwich could be akin to flipping a coin. You can, however, ask for the sandwich patty to be freshly prepared. 

10. Dairy Queen

The Dairy Queen sandwich does not have much to offer, thus ending up last on this list. It is recommended to go for the chicken basket instead, in case you’re looking for a chicken option. 


So there’s the list for you. Hope you get to try them all, but don’t forget to come to visit us at one of our Mary Brown’s locations, and we promise you to deliver on the Daily Hive’s “Best Chicken Sandwich” award. 

Order your favourite chicken sandwiches, deliciously made at Mary Brown, today!. Love our brand and are interested in becoming a part of the ‘Mary Brown’s’ family? Consider Investing in our franchising opportunities.

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