Chick-fil-A sets sights on Europe
Chick-fil-A yesterday announched it will be moving into two new markets. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company plans to move into European and Asian markets with the first locations opening by 2026.
The company will invest $1 billion over the next 6 years with plans to expand to three more international markets by 2030.
Chick-fil-A’s CEO, Andrew Cathy, said to the WSJ: “We feel like it’s time to continue to innovate and try and test how we will do in international markets so that we can learn.”
When looking at their US based sales, Chick-fil-A is the third largest fast-food restaurant in the United States behind that of fast-food giants, McDonald's and Starbucks. However, when based on profitability per location, Chick-fil-A takes first place.
With a franchise model and simple menu focused primarily on chicken sandwiches, waffle fries and milkshakes, the privately held company has consistently outperformed chicken based competitors like KFC and Popeyes in the US.
As far as the franchise model goes, Chick-fil-A plans to keep its current stipulations. The franchising process is very selective, and after going through extensive training, franchise owners are only permitted to run a single location.
In recent years the fast-food market in Europe has been growing with American fast-food brands due to an increased demand for quick and affordable meals; Popeyes, Shake Shack, Slim Chickens and Wendy’s to just name a few. However, KFC remains the top seller in the region.
In addition, the importance that Europeans place on a healthy diet has not stifled the ongoing fast-food market growth. Perhaps Chick-fil-A's focus on quality ingredients that contain no trans fats or antibiotics might be the winning ticket when taking on the European continent.
In the meantime, the company will hope their second attempt on European territory will be received better than its first. In 2020, Chick-fil-A's United Kingdom restaurants quickly closed due to protests from LGBTQ activists, making the chain's first trip to Europe a massive flop.
Chick-fil-A currently has 2,600 locations across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
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