Trash cans were being used to stage the production of the incomprehensibly popular chicken sandwich at a Popeyes restaurant in Fairfax, Virginia. Photos show an employee using a trash can as a surface on which to prop a tray, and that tray being used to make the now-legendary sandwich.
Unfortunately for the restaurant, this unusual and distressing-looking setup was in plain view of customers.
The first and most obvious, question anyone would ask when presented with this scenario is: why? Why make food that you’re going to serve to customers over a trash can? Sure, the employee is using a tray that is presumably clean and fresh from the dishwasher, but it looks pretty terrible to see food assembly occurring close to the garbage.
According to the store location’s owner, a combination of factors played into the impromptu counter space creation. Mainly, the location only opened recently and wasn’t exactly prepared for the sudden influx of demand for what otherwise seems like a normal sandwich.
The viral sensation, however, drove throngs of people to the chicken joint to order some brioche buns and breaded chicken.
With huge crowds hungrily demanding more chicken sandwiches, the franchise’s employees were forced to improvise. There simply wasn’t enough counter space for the line cooks to make sandwiches fast enough to satisfy demand. So, to accommodate the rush, they grabbed an empty trashcan and put a clean tray on top and started making food.
Of course, customers weren’t exactly pleased to see the impromptu table, so the franchise owner had the employees stop doing that. The next day, a brand-new table the owner had ordered came in, allowing the workers more space to create the insanely popular chicken sandwich. Since the location is so new, even the longest-running employees at the location have only been there for a few weeks. They were simply overwhelmed by the demand.
Meanwhile, other Popeyes locations have seen legitimate chaos and destruction over the simple sandwich. In some locations, full-fledged brawls have broken out over the breaded chicken and brioche. In one sad case, a 28-year-old man was fatally injured in an altercation over cutting in line.