McDonald’s is still the undisputed fast-food giant, but over the years, Chick-fil-A has proven to be a giant killer. Specializing in its fried chicken sandwiches, this family-owned company has a lot more to offer and a lot of competition to blow out of the water. Here are 10 reasons Chick-fil-A Is On The Rise.
10. My Pleasure
Chick-fil-A, like every other fast-food restaurant, has to make food people like if they expect customers to keep coming back for more. However, there are other factors that can influence the popularity of a chain or how loyal the customers are, and Chick-fil-A has a well-earned reputation for creating a positive customer experience. For instance, employees of the fast-food chain are trained to say “my pleasure” when responding to customers. This might seem like an unimportant detail, but in the highly competitive fast-food industry, it’s the little details that can make a difference. Chick-fil-A is statistically the most polite chain in the restaurant business, and its employees tend to be more satisfied with their job than many other fast-food employees. The satisfaction comes through, and the customers get a better experience. A satisfied customer is more likely to return and spend more money. Most companies that serve the public try to create a welcoming or positive experience for customers, but Chick-fil-A seem to be masters at it. But, if the food wasn’t very good, then the quality of the customer service wouldn’t matter, but thankfully, good food and good service are both offered at this chicken outlet. The lines of customers you often see waiting to be served are evidence of the chain’s success and one of the reasons Chick-fil-A is on the rise.
You know you must be doing something right when your competitors think they need to copy you. Chick-fil-A’s fried chicken sandwich is popular enough that established chains like McDonald’s and Popeyes scrambled to respond. Both companies felt the need to come up with their own versions of the chicken chain’s classic sandwich. A fried chicken sandwich with pickles is a fairly simple item, but it’s the ingredients and execution that make Chick-fil-A’s sandwich stand out. McDonald’s has had a fried chicken sandwich for a while – the McChicken – but more recently, it introduced three variations of a crispy chicken sandwich, and of course, all of these sandwiches include pickle chips. The Popeyes Chicken chain is also confident about the fried chicken meals it serves to its customers and offers several fried chicken and fish baskets. However, it also offers a simple fried chicken sandwich with pickles. The question of which fast-food chain has the best-fried chicken sandwich is a highly subjective one to answer. You would be able to find many opinions on which sandwich is the best, and most of them would be valid. While every option is good, you can’t deny that the original creator of the iconic treat deserves the title.
8. Sales Rising
It goes without saying that fast-food chains need to make money if they want to stay in business. By this measure, Chick-fil-A is in great shape and should be in business for a long time. In 2019, Chick-fil-A brought in almost $10.5 billion dollars in sales, which was the third-best showing in the fast-food industry after McDonald’s and Starbucks, two huge international corporations with thousands of stores spread all around the world. You might think that because Chick-fil-A has fewer stores than most other fast-food chains, it would be at a disadvantage when it comes to earnings. However, this has not been the case. The fast-food chain is proud of the fact that its individual stores perform at a higher level than most other chains’ stores. Its stores bring in more money per location than any other fast-food chain. So it seems, in this case, a perceived weakness has been turned into a strength. But, this doesn’t mean the company is going to rest on its laurels. Chick-fil-A has plans to open more locations to compete even more aggressively with its competitors. The good sales news doesn’t end there because Chick-fil-A is the only chain that can point to an increase in sales every year it has been in operation. This is an impressive achievement for any business and is definitely one reason Chick-fil-A is here to stay.
7. Eat Mor Chikin
Unlike some of the global fast-food chains, Chick-fil-A didn’t have a huge amount of money for advertising. It was back in 1995 that the “Eat Mor Chikin” slogan first appeared on a lowly billboard in Atlanta, Georgia. The clever advertising campaign was created by the Richard’s Group and revolved around cows trying to convince people to eat more chicken instead of beef. The billboard campaign was a big hit and got Chick-fil-A a lot of publicity – and for only a relatively small amount of money. As Chick-fil-A has grown, so has the rebel cows’ foray into the world of fast-food marketing. They’ve diversified the campaign to include things like buildings, water towers, and banners trailing behind airplanes. These chicken-loving cows have also appeared on radio, television, and at sporting events to spread their pro-chicken message to as many people as possible. The cows have even inspired the creation of a special day at Chick-fil-A restaurants called Cow Appreciation Day. On July 14th, really devoted Chick-fil-A customers show up at their nearby Chick-fil-A location dressed as the famous rebel cows. The publicity-loving cows’ continuing efforts to promote chicken over beef have become a permanent part of the fast-food chain’s advertising and have become a beloved part of the company’s branding efforts.
6. The New York State Of Mind
Fast food and politics don’t necessarily make for a tasty combination. Some people have taken issue in the past with the conservative politics of the Cathy family who own Chick-fil-A. Disputes over political issues have even complicated the fast-food chain’s efforts to expand into some airports and cities. This is not a good situation for anyone because people of all political stripes might want to indulge their love for the chain’s fried chicken sandwiches. New York City was one of the places that wasn’t always very welcoming to Chick-fil-A, even though the chain has been rapidly expanding in other places around the country. Chick-fil-A opened its first New York City location in 2015 with a lot of fanfare, long lines, and a fair bit of criticism as well. The first New York location did so well, the chain went ahead with plans to open a Grand Central Station location as soon as possible. The fast-food chain expected the Grand Central location to be the busiest Chick-fil-A in the country when it opened. This expansion was just the beginning, however, and Chick-fil-A quickly followed up with an announcement that it wanted to open at least a dozen more locations in the New York area over the coming few years. Many New Yorkers will probably never agree on politics, but they have to agree that Chick-fil-A in the Big Apple is a good thing.
5. Samuel Truett Cathy
Truett Cathy became a successful businessman and philanthropist and overcame humble origins to reach these heights. As a young man, Mr. Cathy was trying to help support his family in the 1930s during the Great Depression. There wasn’t a lot he could do, so he started reselling bottles of Coca-Cola for a small profit. This small entry into the food and beverage industry would eventually lead to much bigger and better things. After serving in the military during World War II, Cathy decided to get into the restaurant business with a small diner that only had a handful of tables. The Dwarf Grill opened in 1946 and was moderately successful. However, it was at this restaurant that Mr. Cathy came up with his pressure-cooked fried chicken sandwich. This is the sandwich that would make Mr. Cathy and Chick-fil-A a big success. He opened the first Chick-fil-A location in an Atlanta mall in 1967. This modest start led to the creation of a fast-food empire with more than 1,800 locations in the United States and became one of the most successful restaurant chains in the country. A devout Baptist, he was also involved in other endeavors, including teaching Sunday school, taking in foster children, and setting up a number of charities. There’s no doubt Mr. Cathy’s hard work and lasting legacy are two of the reasons Chick-fil-A is still on the rise today.
4. Serious Business
The fast-food industry is known for having a high turnover rate among its mostly young employees. Some of them just don’t like the job, or they move on to other opportunities as they get older and more experienced. Chick-fil-A is something of an outlier when it comes to worker retention and worker satisfaction. About 2/3 of Chick-fil-A’s employees who work for the fast-food chain as teenagers continue to work for the company as they become adults. The family-owned chain is conscientious about who it hires to work in their stores. The fast-food chain takes this same approach with who is allowed to become one of the franchise operators. If a prospective candidate passes the training to become an operator, they are not allowed to run other businesses, so they can put all of their focus on running the Chick-fil-A location. The operator will be spending a lot of time at his store, meaning they can’t afford to be distracted by other ventures. With a relatively modest $10,000 buy-in for a franchise, Chick-fil-A can attract people who couldn’t afford the franchise fees charged by some of the other chains, such as McDonald’s. The training employees and operators undergo comprehensive, but it seems to work because the people who work for this fast-food chain tend to be loyal to the company. In an era when loyalty can be hard to come by, it’s nice to know at least one chain that inspires it so much.
3. Keep it Simple
Some fast-food chains try to sell a little bit of everything in the hopes of bringing in as many customers as possible. But when restaurants offer too many different menu items, they risk sacrificing quality for quantity. Remember when McDonald’s tried to sell pizza? Well, unlike chains like McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A didn’t try to sell pizza to its customers. No, instead, it concentrated on offering the best chicken that it could. People don’t go to McDonald’s for pizza and they don’t go to Chick-fil-A for hamburgers. If you don’t like chicken, but you go to Chick-fil-A anyway, you have your choice of a couple of fish menu items. Yes, the fried chicken sandwich with pickles is the signature item, but Chick-fil-A offers you a number of different ways to enjoy their chicken. The menu offers chicken for different tastes and includes items like chicken on a biscuit, a chicken wrap, chicken nuggets, a chicken salad, and a grilled chicken sandwich. Obviously, this fast-food chain’s specialty is chicken, and it has been making the most of it. Although Chick-fil-A doesn’t have the smallest menu in the fast-food business, its consistent commitment to its roots as a chicken restaurant seems to be appreciated. The fast-food chain’s loyal customers continue to give it high marks. It looks like it was a really smart choice to keep its focus on chicken – and one that paid off.
2. Recipe for Success
Like most businesses, fast-food chains are often judged by the number of locations they have and how much money they bring in. These are valid measures of success in any business, but Chick-fil-A has followed its own recipe for success. Attention to quality and customer loyalty are some of the reasons Chick-fil-A has been able to keep growing all this time. The importance of quality in the plan for success is represented in the name of the chain itself. The “A” in Chick-fil-A refers to the grade “A” quality food the company serves to its customers. The focus on chicken sandwiches and other chicken items continues to be a core part of the business. This approach has paid dividends for the company because it has continued to expand and has become one of the top fast-food chains in the United States. Chick-fil-A’s success has come even though it’s in competition with some of the giants in the fast-food industry, such as KFC and McDonald’s. The family-owned chain now operates more than 2,600 stores with its expansion into Canada and the United Kingdom. Chick-fil-A’s expansion has been steady but at a slower pace than some of the other Fast food chains. Even if Chick-fil-A never becomes a true global giant, the company has become a resounding success by nearly any measure. Perhaps, the most important measures are the levels of employee and customer loyalty to this family-owned fast-food chain.
1. The Sandwich
Chick-fil-A is all about the chicken and especially the fast-food chain’s famous fried chicken sandwich. The company’s founder came up with his signature sandwich back in the 1960s, and it’s been a customer favorite ever since it was put on the menu. Chick-fil-A might have a number of other popular menu items, such as chicken tenders, but people wait in line for the sandwich. This is not a complicated or fancy sandwich that needs fancy sauces or other gimmicks. This sandwich relies on simple and fresh ingredients to deliver a consistently delicious product to customers. It starts with a boneless chicken breast seasoned and breaded. The chicken breast is pressure cooked in 100% peanut oil and then rests on a toasted and buttered bun topped with tangy dill pickle chips. That’s all there is to it – simple and delicious. Most of the other fast-food chains, including McDonald’s, offer fried chicken sandwiches with pickles. Some of them get good marks, but the Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich is the industry standard. Like any fried food, this tasty sandwich does come at a price and will cost you 440 calories and 17 grams of fat. You’ll also get 29 grams of protein, so the news isn’t all bad, but enjoy these sandwiches in moderation. The people who have tasted this chicken sandwich know why it’s one of the reasons Chick-fil-A is on the rise.