McDonald's is playing chicken -- again.
The fast-food behemoth announced that on Monday it would begin testing a new crispy chicken sandwich, as the market leader struggles to compete with its rivals' popular poultry offerings. The dish, which is being served in just two markets initially, features a crispy filet topped with butter and "crinkle-cut" pickles, served on a "buttery potato roll." (If that sounds familiar, that's probably because it's the same basic combination used by Chick-fil-A.)
The Golden Arches has for months been under pressure to come up with a winning chicken sandwich. Even before Popeye's spicy version became a viral sensation in August, franchisees had been pushing the company to develop a "premium" chicken sandwich to rival Chick-fil-A's, CNBC reported in July. (The chain already serves McNuggets, a McChicken sandwich, a Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich and Buttermilk Crispy Tenders.)
In September, McDonald's tried a limited-edition spicy barbecue chicken sandwich that repurposed existing components from the fast-food chain's pantry. But the latest versions, which are being tested in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Houston, will feature a new filet (per Business Insider, it's distinct from both the McChicken and the chain's buttermilk patties) and a new potato roll.
Houston. Knoxville. Lunch tomorrow? No beef. ? ? pic.twitter.com/ElVyhy2U4S— McDonald';s (@McDonalds) December 1, 2019
But it still comes with another heaping serving of déjà vu: The sandwich resembles the "Southern Style" Chick-fil-A knockoff the chain served from 2005 to 2015.
McDonald's teased its new menu offerings in a Sunday tweet. "Houston. Knoxville. Lunch tomorrow? No beef," the tweet read.
Eagle-eyed folks noted that the bag depicted in the photo accompanying the message looked like the kind of insulated sacks used by ... you guessed it, Chick-fil-A.