Daily Insights

Fried Chicken Competition

By: Mackenzie Baker | Jan 11, 2021

McDonald’s recently joined the chicken sandwich wars, but it’s Shake Shack’s latest offering that could get mouths watering. 

As part of an international portfolio expansion, Shake Shack introduces the Korean-style fried chicken sandwich. The meal is inspired by the spicy-sweet crispy chicken often served in the country, which Shake Shack recreated after sending a team over to research the food scene. Shake Shack’s new sandwich features white kimchi slaw, a gochujang-glazed sauce, and toasted seeds on a classic hamburger bun. The Korean-style fried chicken sandwich joins Shake Shack’s classic fried chicken sandwich, which has long served as the brand’s contribution into the “chicken sandwich wars” among fast-casual restaurants. With consumer demand for chicken growing during the Coronavirus pandemic, Shake Shack’s newest addition could drive consumers to its stores and help level itself against competitors like Popeyes, Chick-fil-A, and McDonald’s. 

Restaurant brands can benefit from promoting menu mainstays alongside new items, according to a Gartner report. As such, promoting the Chick’n Stack sandwich alongside its Korean-style fried chicken sandwich could help Shake Shack cement sales gains and drive more chicken-craving consumers to its stores. Additionally, Shake Shack could build buzz around the new item by noting its limited-time availability. The restaurant brand made the sandwich limited edition, alongside its new Black Sugar Vanilla Shake. Both menu items pay homage to Korean dining, and may make reappearances on the menu in the future, similar to how McDonald’s often re-introduces its popular McRib. To boost awareness around its limited-time offer, Shake Shack turned to Instagram and Twitter, where promoting the products could help boost audience engagement and relevance as consumers turn to delivery and online ordering during the Coronavirus pandemic. By virtually advertising its newest products, Shake Shack could see a surge in mobile orders as well as drive consumers to its stores to order the limited-edition meal. 

By feeding consumer demand for original chicken products, Shake Shack could stand out against fast-casual competitors and expand its portfolio of innovative offerings.