Big Boy loses his job over a chicken sandwich

The burger chain has introduced a new spokesperson, Dolly, to hawk a sandwich aimed at competing with Popeyes' hot product.
Big Boy
Photograph: Shutterstock

The chicken sandwich wars may have cost Big Boy’s iconic mascot his job, at least temporarily.

The longtime employer of the plump and pompadoured boy in red-checked overalls has introduced a new chicken sandwich named after a little-known second banana, a trim blonde-ponytailed girl named Dolly. According to the narrative that the burger chain has spun to support the launch, Dolly created the sandwich, appropriately called the Dolly Chicken Sandwich, and it’s “a cluckin’ big deal.”

So, as of today, the Big Boy is yielding the spotlight to Dolly. “Dolly is in charge now,” the chain says on its website.

The site indicates that the Dolly is a limited-time product and that the chain will continue to sell its earlier chicken sandwiches. The Dolly consists of a deep-fried breaded chicken breast tossed in buffalo sauce and served on a grilled brioche bun, with garnishes of ranch dressing, red onion, tomato and shredded lettuce.

Two chicken sandwiches were already on the menu: A buffalo-style item and a grilled selection.

Big Boy executives have readily acknowledged that the Dolly is intended to snag some of the buzz and popularity that Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen has enjoyed from the sandwich it launched last year.

As for the Dolly, it is unclear how long she may keep the original Big Boy mascot off the stage.  The chain says that Dolly has been a featured character since in the 1950s in the Big Boy comic books that the brand has long distributed, and has been a regular on the kids’ menu as well.

For the time being, Dolly is appearing on the Big Boy’s homepage, as well as on its social media pages.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


The case for the (mostly) digital restaurant

Tech Check: Digitizing 100% of orders has become a North Star for some brands. But 90% might be the wiser goal.


Older brands try new tricks in their quest to stay relevant

Reality Check: A number of mature restaurant chains are out to prove that age is just a number.


At Papa Johns, delivery shifts from its own apps to aggregators

The Bottom Line: The pizza delivery chain’s business with companies like Uber Eats and DoorDash is thriving while its own delivery is slowing. But this isn’t the beginning of the end of self-delivery, CEO Rob Lynch says.


More from our partners