Everyone knows that the Popeyes Chicken sandwich is all the rage right now. To the point where, according to Business Insider, there has been a shortage of them at several locations.
And while it might be good for Popeyes as a business, and good for the customers who are enjoying their meal, the employees—from managers to sandwich makers to shift leaders and cashiers—have another story to tell.
Business Insider notes that some of these employees have been clocking in more than 60 hour weeks, and working several days without any break in order to supply the demand for the now-famous sandwiches.
“I was working like a slave in the back prepping the buns with pickles and the spicy mayo,” an 18-year-old Popeyes crew member in Orange County, California told Business Insider.
The news site spoke to five employees around the US about the overwhelming demand that left many considering quitting their jobs.
The Orange County worker said that he probably made at least 600 sandwiches on Saturday during an 11-hour shift, with one order consisting of 35 spicy chicken sandwich.
“Everyone wanted to quit so bad because it was that bad,” the Popeyes crew member in Orange County said. “We have never seen it get this insanely busy.”
His experience up until that point, he said, was fine.
Other Popeyes employees, including one from Newark, New Jersey, who actually did quit last week “in the middle of making two sandwiches” told similar stories.
“The issue with Popeyes or any fast food is the treatment and the amount of pay that a worker gets,” that employee said, pointing to “the added demand increased the amount of work tenfold, while I still get paid next to nothing.”
According to Business Insider, Jose Cil, the CEO of Restaurant Brands International, which is Popeyes’ parent company acknowledged that employees have had a “tough week”
“They’ve worked really hard, and actually the success that we’ve seen with the launch of the chicken sandwich is really a success that’s been driven by our franchise partners as well as our team members and the restaurants,” he said.