Panera Bread has entered the sandwich wars with the addition of two new chicken sandwiches that will debut on March 30.

The sandwiches will be offered in a “Signature Take” and a “Spicy Take” that will go head-to-head with chicken competitors McDonald’s, Popeyes, and Chick-fil-A.

The Chef Chicken sandwiches have a $10.99 price tag, well above Panera’s rivals, but the chain said it is “confident the combination of its chefs’ sandwich expertise along with high quality, clean ingredients is worth it.”

The sandwiches each feature a quarter-pound 100% all-white meat chicken breast that has been marinated with chicken flavor and seasoned with Panera’s signature spice blend.

The filet is then seared and finished sous vide to lock in flavor, tenderness, and juiciness, and finished with a crunchy topping of either parmesan crisps or spicy, crispy pickle chips and proprietary garlic aioli sauce, Panera said.

The “Spicy Take” also has a spicy buffalo sauce that uses ingredients such as aged red cayenne pepper and roasted garlic.

The sandwiches are both served on a buttered brioche roll.

According to Panera, the Chef Chicken sandwiches are made with chicken raised without antibiotics and clean ingredients that do not contain any artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavors, and colors from artificial sources.

“This is no ordinary chicken sandwich,” Eduardo Luz, chief brand & concept officer at Panera Bread, said in a statement.

“This is for a guest looking for a delicious, chef-crafted, gourmet-level sandwich, freshly prepared and made with clean ingredients in true Panera fashion. This will shatter the expectations of what a chicken sandwich should taste like, and we think they’re worth every bite and every penny,” he added.

Chicken sandwiches have been highly demanded by consumers, with restaurants all looking for a bite of the market.

In 2019, Chick-fil-A and Popeyes fought it out in what started "the chicken sandwich wars" as lines of customers formed amid heightened attention on social media.

Early in 2021, McDonald’s reignited the war by debuting three new chicken sandwiches, which were quickly followed by introductions from KFC and Burger King. A spicy chicken sandwich was also launched by Chick-fil-A during the same year.

Panera Bread
Panera Bread, pictured May 5, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois, revealed largest clean kids menu and challenged McDonalds' own kids menu. Getty Images