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Friday July 23rd

Sup Dogs hears the plight of Popeyes' long lines, offers free food

Sup Dogs has two locations in Chapel Hill and Greenville.
Buy Photos Sup Dogs has two locations in Chapel Hill and Greenville.

Sup Dogs announced in a tweet Tuesday that the restaurant will be giving away free food to all Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen employees who arrive in uniform.

“Working in a restaurant is an incredibly hard job,” the tweet, posted on both the ECU and UNC-based accounts, said. “We respect the grind and appreciate the hard work!”


Bret Oliverio, owner of Sup Dogs restaurant, said he had been reading about people waiting in long lines for hours at the restaurants for the chicken sandwiches and he knew how grueling the work could be.

“The staff’s overworked, so you got to deal with the upset customer and insane volume,” he said. “So all I could think about was how rough it is on the Popeyes staff.”

One individual, referring to herself as the Popeyes district manager for the Greenville area, replied to the Sup Dogs ECU account’s tweet saying the amount of gratitude she had was immeasurable.

“Thanks for appreciating the hard work and dedication the Greenville, N.C. team has displayed,” she said. “I’ll personally make sure your staff receives the new chicken sandwich once it’s back in stock.”

Oliverio said Sup Dogs hasn’t seen much increase in business over the past couple of days after the offer, but that wasn’t his goal.

“Anytime you can be in the spotlight, I think it’s good. But it’s not really why we did it,” he said. “We just did it because our business on Franklin Street is super high volume and we just know how rough that can be on a staff, and I think the majority of people have never worked in a restaurant and it’s just some of the hardest work you can do.”

The announcement came just over three weeks after the announcement of the release of Popeyes’ chicken sandwich.

Popeyes announced it would be initially selling the chicken sandwich at a Long Beach, C.A. restaurant, Sweet Dixie Kitchen, which had been accused of, and then admitted to, reheating and selling Popeyes’ chicken in its dishes.

But the marketing campaign for the chain’s chicken sandwich ignited Twitter debates between the Popeyes account and the accounts of popular fast food restaurants Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s.

“Bun plus Chicken plus Pickles equals all the (love) for the original,” a tweet from Chick-fil-A said.

“… y’all good?” Popeyes tweeted in response.

Popeyes announced on Twitter Tuesday afternoon that the chain had sold out of their supply of the sandwiches. In the same tweet, the chain posted a video of the recent national reaction, showing long lines and “sold out” signs.

Sup Dogs posted its announcement of free food for Popeyes employees just one hour later.

@CBlakeWeaver

city@dailytarheel.com

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