Chick-fil-A Nation

Discussion
Nov 17, 2005
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Chik-fil-A’s got religion, great tasting chicken and a growing legion of “raving fans.”

The company that rests on Sundays (Chik-fil-A is open six days a week) is a success story with 37 straight years of sales increases. Over the past 11 years, those increases have
come in double-digits.

“They’ve almost developed a cult following,” said Ron Paul, president of Technomic.

Rachel and Sean Leboeuf are two of the Chik-fil-A faithful. The married couple, self-described evangelical Christians, recently joined others camping out the night before the
opening of a new restaurant in Arizona.

“I think God’s blessed it,” said Mr. Leboeuf. “You want to support companies that have your same faith and have your same values.” 

Moderator’s Comment: Would Chik-fil-A have the same success without its religious philosophy? What makes the chain successful beyond its adherence to
the “golden rule”?

George Anderson – Moderator

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12 Comments on "Chick-fil-A Nation"


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Bob Jordan
Guest
Bob Jordan
15 years 3 months ago

The reason they’re so successful is that “they got da best chicken sandwich” I’ve ever had!!

It’s also refreshing to see a company in today’s time continue to hold values and religion as part of their philosophy. If you notice, they aren’t out there trying to push these views on the public, they just silently adhere to what they believe and close on Sundays.

GOOD FOR THEM!!!

Mark Lilien
Guest
15 years 3 months ago

Hobby Lobby is closed on Sunday for religious reasons, and it’s grown from a 300 square foot store in 1972 to $1.5 billion sales today. Both Chick Fil-A and Hobby Lobby are successful because their customers love them and they attract new customers all the time. And both companies have decent margins. Without those margins, neither firm could exist. Not that it’s the key reason for their success, but isn’t it a lot less stressful to run stores with a 6 day work week?

Dawn Cripe
Guest
Dawn Cripe
15 years 3 months ago

They have innovative marketing/advertising (cows painting “Eat More Chicken”) and a great-tasting product, decently priced to boot. In addition, they have good, fast service with their drive-thrus. And, in this ever-health conscious society, is it no wonder they are succeeding? They’ve only begun to scratch the surface of success.

David Livingston
Guest
15 years 3 months ago

I doubt Chick-fil-A would be as successful. They found a model that works in a world where most do make it. It’s not broke and there is no need for fixing. They put out a good product and I usually patronize them when I am working in one of their territories. They also have some real nice people they send to the real estate conferences.

Tom Bodiford
Guest
Tom Bodiford
15 years 3 months ago

Simply the In-N-Out Burger of chicken!

Open religious beliefs and being closed on Sunday differentiates them from all the other “same time same place” competitors.

What’s not to like?

Tom Shay
Guest
Tom Shay
15 years 3 months ago
This morning I had the pleasure of seeing Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-a and his grandson Andrew Cathy in one of their restaurants. Their success is their attitude and their strict adherence to a format that has worked for years. Travel on any street in the United States that has a bunch of fast food locations. Why is it that repeatedly the McDonald’s, Burger King, Arby’s, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, Checkers, Rally, and all the other fast food restaurants have employees that dress and act like they won “last place” in the customer service contest? It is because from their corporate level, they believe you gain customers by trying to sell your food for less than the competition. Cathy used the successfully time tested and proven technique – offer a unique product and do so by placing your customer above everything else. It was also mentioned that Cathy had taught a middle school Sunday school class for 50 years. Cathy said that he learned something every Sunday from those youth. Once in a while, he… Read more »
Ian Percy
Guest
15 years 3 months ago
First I say, “God bless ’em!” That done, the real question is “Are they successful because of THIS evangelical philosophy or are they successful because they distinguish themselves by having an applied clear cut philosophy or belief system of any sort?” As people and as corporations, we are often afraid to take a stand on anything for fear that some lone customer out there might not like it. (Witness this current ‘Christmas’ debate.) And we hate to lose any customers! And that obsequious cowardice is actually creating the very problem we’re trying to avoid. If you want your arrow to stick in the target, it has to have a sharp point. Take a stand! Matter! Know what you believe as a company and don’t apologize for it or dilute it to the lowest common denominator. And then build your organizational performance to the point where it exemplifies that belief. If there is a price for this moral courage, pay it – it will come back to you ten fold. How many times, do you think,… Read more »
Matt Werhner
Guest
Matt Werhner
15 years 3 months ago

It’s hard to argue with Biblical philosophy, unless of course you don’t believe in it. It’s also hard to argue against a philosophy that, in part, has helped to produce 37 straight years of sales increases. That is an amazing accomplishment. God certainly has blessed this chain. Implementing and adhering to this core philosophy has given Chik-fil-A a solid foundation to build upon. They also have a great marketing plan and outstanding advertising campaign. By the way, they also have pretty good food.

Wade Handy
Guest
Wade Handy
15 years 3 months ago
Chick-fil-A has been growing because they couldn’t do anything but grow. The religious aspect of the company has little to do with their success. It just makes Truitt Cathy feel better about all the money he has made. I would hope that God isn’t wasting his infinite time with the rise and fall of fast food restaurants. I have seen the rise of the idea of being “blessed” and its monetary connotations. I shudder at the thought that money and religious convictions are connected. Health is another story. The only bad thing that I see in the future for Chick-fil-A is the fact that people will get tired of the “chicken sandwich.” Oddly enough, there are a few restaurants in the south Atlanta area called Truitts which serve Chick-fil-A sandwiches with a full menu of hamburgers, breakfast and everything else you would have found in the original restaurant that bore Chick-fil-A. It has a 50’s theme with a wait staff and real china. I believe it has a better chance than the Chick-fil-A spin-off, long… Read more »
Mark Burr
Guest
15 years 3 months ago

It’s simply a factor, as a part of a whole model, that has become successful for them. The difference is, with this factor, it spills over into every other factor. That’s significant. There is no other factor that is equally as powerful.

Nevertheless, the chicken is good. In their business, it has to be! Wrap that up in that which makes all things possible and failure is out of the question.

Bernice Hurst
Guest
15 years 3 months ago

Judging by the comments, this company has far more than a religious ethos to its credit. As one part of an overall, cohesive, marketing strategy I’m sure it contributes to their success but without all the other factors cited, it’s hard to tell whether or not it would have made a measurable difference.

Suzanne irizarry
Guest
Suzanne irizarry
15 years 3 months ago

Passion for something, differentiation as well as total understanding of consumer wants and needs — even if that means catering to a particular segment of the population — always produces a winner.

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