10 Things You Didn’t Know About Chick-fil-A from 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Chick-fil-A Gallery
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Chick-fil-A Gallery
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Chick-fil-A
In certain parts of the country, fried chicken sandwiches are synonymous with Chick-fil-A. In recent years, the sandwich that put it on the map has been joined by wraps, salads, and breakfast items, but that no-frills fried chicken sandwich with dill pickle chips has become a hallmark of American casual cuisine. Whether you’re a loyal devotee or are boycotting the chain over its stance on gay marriage, we bet that there are some things you didn’t know about this legendary institution.
It Traces its Origins to a Restaurant Called Dwarf Grill
That’s the name of the restaurant that S. Truett Cathy opened in 1946 in Hapeville, Georgia. The name was later changed to Dwarf House.
It Owes its Early Success to Ford
Dwarf Grill was located very close to the Ford Motor Company’s since-demolished Atlanta assembly plant, and many of the restaurant’s early customers worked at the factory. This built-in clientele helped keep the restaurant afloat.
It Didn’t Offer its Signature Chicken Sandwich Until 15 Years After Opening
It wasn’t until 1961, after 15 years of running Dwarf House, that Cathy happened upon the pressure fryer that would allow him to branch off and start Chick-fil-A, and it wasn’t until 1967, six years after that, that the first Chick-fil-A opened. Nobody ever said recipe and concept development were easy!
It Has a Unique Franchise Model
Chick-fil-A scouts restaurant locations, builds them, then sells franchise rights to operators for only a $5,000 initial investment. This is quite different from the fast food standard; most franchise owners need to fork over nearly $2 million to open a location. For the 67 to 70 new locations that open yearly, nearly 25,000 potential franchisees submit applications.
They’ve Donated Millions to Anti-Gay Groups
The Cathy family are Southern Baptists, and their overt religiousness has impacted the company in several ways: all locations are closed on Sundays, for example. But in 2011 a far more polarizing fact came to light: The company, through its charitable WinShape Foundation, had donated more than $5 million to groups in opposition to same-sex marriage, including the Family Research Council (which was condemned by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group) and the Marriage & Family Foundation. Then-COO (and current CEO) Dan Cathy, Truett’s son, angered millions more by saying that those who “have the audacity to define what marriage is about" were "inviting God's judgment on our nation." Realizing that such hateful comments made for bad PR in certain parts of the country, the company eventually quieted down, releasing a statement saying, "We are a restaurant company focused on food, service and hospitality; our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."
Wikimedia Commons/ Gage Skidmore
Mike Huckabee Was Responsible for Record-Breaking Sales
Mike Huckabee, who agrees with Cathy’s anti-gay views, came out in support of his statements and even organized a Chick-fil-A appreciation day to counter the boycott that was picking up steam. On August 1, 2012, hundreds of thousands of fellow anti-gay diners showed their support by visiting their local Chick-fil-As, which resulted in record-breaking profits for the day, with 30 percent more sales than usual. You can find more secrets your favorite fast-food chains probably don't want you to know here.
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