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Popeyes’ Chicken Sandwich Could Send Restaurant Brands (TSX:QSR) Stock Soaring

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen’s new chicken sandwich has been selling like hotcakes. The generously sized, crunchy chicken sandwich, fully equipped with pickles and a brioche bun, is now sold out from coast to coast.

One Tennessee man reportedly took it as far as to sue the company for running out of the sandwich that has been drawing hype that’s comparable to Beyond Meat’s sought-after plant-based meat substitutes.

The black market for the chicken sandwich is reportedly booming, with one Maryland man reportedly coughing up US$100 for a taste of Popeye’s chicken sandwich bliss. That’s a 900% return on the sandwich over a brief period of time!

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to try the chicken sandwich, so I can’t tell you if it lives up to the hype, but just by looking at the picture of it, you can tell that it’s one heck of a chicken sandwich. And given the appreciation on the secondary market, investors are likely itching to gain some exposure to the company behind the legendary and now unavailable chicken sandwich.

Restaurant Brands International (TSX:QSR)(NYSE:QSR), the fast-food juggernaut behind Popeyes, is cashing in on the success of the new chicken sandwich that has been making headlines.

While Popeyes represents a small chunk (accounting for about 10% of overall stores) of Restaurant Brands’s total sales (not nearly enough to score investors with a 900% return!), I think the overwhelming success of the sandwich bodes well for Restaurant Brands over the long haul.

You see, Popeyes is an underrated piece of the Restaurant Brands puzzle. It’s the most recent scoop-up, and it doesn’t account for as much to overall sales as Burger King or Tim Hortons, both of which have been doing the heavy lifting over the years.

Popeyes’s relatively small international footprint just means there’s a tonne of room to expand at the international level. And its legendary chicken sandwich making the headlines will only make Popeyes’s looming expansion that much more successful.

Furthermore, it’s not just the incredible chicken sandwich that could be a driver of sales at Popeyes. The chain may follow in KFC’s footsteps by adopting Beyond Meat chicken into its menu. Like Popeye’s new chicken sandwich, the meatless chicken at KFC is also now sold out thanks to a tremendous amount of hype.

The chicken wars have just begun, and through Popeyes, Restaurant Brands has a force to be reckoned with. The stock of Restaurant Brands may be near all-time highs, but investors shouldn’t be chicken, as shares are still undervalued given the magnitude of growth that could be on the horizon. This growth goes Beyond Chicken, with its other two brands, which are also firing on all cylinders.

Stay hungry. Stay Foolish.

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Fool contributor Joey Frenette owns shares of RESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL INC. The Motley Fool owns shares of RESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL INC and has the following options: short October 2019 $82 calls on RESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL INC.

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