Burger King's Italian Original Chicken Sandwich Returns As A Limited-Time Offering

Burger King fans, this is your cue to get excited: the Italian Original Chicken Sandwich is back for a limited time. At participating restaurants, chicken lovers can get their hands on the fast food version of a chicken parmesan sandwich, which features a breaded, crispy fried white meat patty with mozzarella and marinara sauce on a toasted sesame seed bun. Burger King has yet to announce how long the Italian Original Chicken Sandwich will remain on menus, so fans should make way while the sun is shining.

The fast food giant first announced the sammy's return via an Instagram post four weeks ago in anticipation of National Fried Chicken Day (July 6). But, foodies of the disco era will surely remember when the sandwich first came to B.K. menus in 1979. Now, though, today's fans might notice that the Italian Original Chicken sandwich bears a striking resemblance to another menu item — the Italian BK Royal Crispy Chicken sandwich, with crispy white meat chicken, marinara, and mozzarella on a potato bun ($6.79 at a Burger King in Brooklyn, N.Y.). The Royal Italian first hit BK menus last November, also marketed as a limited-time offering. But, it returned to menus nationwide for another summer residency this year from early July through August 17. Time will tell whether the Italian Original will enjoy a similar run.

A nod to the past while looking toward the future

This isn't the first time Burger King has reintroduced its Italian Original Chicken Sandwich. The item has seen a tumultuous on-and-off relationship with B.K. since its conception in the '70s, gracing and departing from menus in sporadic bursts for varying tenures. Most recently, after a seven-year hiatus, the fast food chain brought back the Italian Original in 2021 for a limited time as part of its Two-for-$6 value menu.

In addition to National Fried Chicken Day, the sandwich's comeback might also be a foray into nostalgia marketing as a part of B.K.'s recent comprehensive brand overhaul. After the Impossible Whopper of 2019 failed to fetch B.K. an enduring fanbase, the company set its sights on a $400 million makeover. Late last year, Restaurant Brands International (parent company of Burger King) announced a multi-dimensional plan to revitalize the chain and return it to its former glory — and so far, the effort has been paying off. In Q4 2022, same-store sales enjoyed a 5% increase. B.K. has since been testing a rotating door of menu items and marketing campaigns in the name of contemporary relevancy and efficiency. For instance, the Ch'King Sandwich (which has since been retired) took 21 steps to prepare, and the newer Royal Crispy Chicken takes five. By April 2023, Burger King was selling the most Whoppers in company history. (Here's hoping the chain axes its creepy mascot for keeps next.)