Chick-fil-A is doing just fine

Caitlin Yilek writes for the Washington Examiner about the impact of a Chick-fil-A boycott.

Chick-fil-A has more than doubled its annual sales since gay rights advocates called for a boycott of the chicken chain restaurant after it was revealed nearly a decade ago that the company donated to organizations that opposed same-sex marriage.

In 2018, the company had $10.5 billion in total sales, becoming the third-largest chain in the nation behind Starbucks ($20.5 billion) and McDonald’s ($38.5 billion). It was a 16.7% increase in sales from the year prior.

An analysis credited the growth to a variety of factors, including the opening of nearly 700 more locations in recent years, low start-up costs, and digital sales via delivery apps.

There are now more than 2,400 locations nationwide, and the $10,000 in startup costs for an operator are significantly lower than the costs needed to open a McDonald’s.

The company’s growth has happened despite the calls for a boycott.

The controversy began in 2011 when Towleroad, a blog focused on news about gay and transgender issues, posted the headline: “If you’re eating Chick-fil-A, you’re eating anti-gay.” The headline was in response to the company’s support of a seminar hosted by the Pennsylvania Family Institute, which opposes same-sex marriage.

In 2012, Dan T. Cathy, the son of the founder of Chick-fil-A, said he was “guilty as charged” when asked about his opposition to gay marriage. Years later, he said he regretted his comments but that his views hadn’t changed.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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