Chick-fil-A
Overview
Chick-fil-A is a quick service restaurant chain headquartered in College Park, Georgia
College Park, Georgia
College Park is a city located partly in Fulton County, Georgia and partially in Clayton County, Georgia, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 13,942...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, specializing in chicken
Chicken (food)
Chicken is the most common type of poultry in the world, and is prepared as food in a wide variety of ways, varying by region and culture.- History :...

 entrée
Entrée
An entrée is a dish served before the main course, or between two principal courses of a meal.The disappearance in the early 20th century of a large communal main course such as a roast as a standard part of the meal in the English-speaking world has led to the term being used to describe the main...

s and is known for promoting the company founder's claims of Christian values. Long associated with the southern United States
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

, where it has been a cultural icon, the chain has expanded. , Chick-fil-A has 1,601 restaurants in 39 states
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 and the District of Columbia, and is focusing on the American Midwest and southern California
Southern California
Southern California is a megaregion, or megapolitan area, in the southern area of the U.S. state of California. Large urban areas include Greater Los Angeles and Greater San Diego. The urban area stretches along the coast from Ventura through the Southland and Inland Empire to San Diego...

.
Chick-fil-A had historically been identified with shopping mall
Shopping mall
A shopping mall, shopping centre, shopping arcade, shopping precinct or simply mall is one or more buildings forming a complex of shops representing merchandisers, with interconnecting walkways enabling visitors to easily walk from unit to unit, along with a parking area — a modern, indoor version...

s, as most of its original restaurants were in their food courts.
Encyclopedia
Chick-fil-A is a quick service restaurant chain headquartered in College Park, Georgia
College Park, Georgia
College Park is a city located partly in Fulton County, Georgia and partially in Clayton County, Georgia, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 13,942...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, specializing in chicken
Chicken (food)
Chicken is the most common type of poultry in the world, and is prepared as food in a wide variety of ways, varying by region and culture.- History :...

 entrée
Entrée
An entrée is a dish served before the main course, or between two principal courses of a meal.The disappearance in the early 20th century of a large communal main course such as a roast as a standard part of the meal in the English-speaking world has led to the term being used to describe the main...

s and is known for promoting the company founder's claims of Christian values. Long associated with the southern United States
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

, where it has been a cultural icon, the chain has expanded. , Chick-fil-A has 1,601 restaurants in 39 states
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 and the District of Columbia, and is focusing on the American Midwest and southern California
Southern California
Southern California is a megaregion, or megapolitan area, in the southern area of the U.S. state of California. Large urban areas include Greater Los Angeles and Greater San Diego. The urban area stretches along the coast from Ventura through the Southland and Inland Empire to San Diego...

.

History

Chick-fil-A had historically been identified with shopping mall
Shopping mall
A shopping mall, shopping centre, shopping arcade, shopping precinct or simply mall is one or more buildings forming a complex of shops representing merchandisers, with interconnecting walkways enabling visitors to easily walk from unit to unit, along with a parking area — a modern, indoor version...

s, as most of its original restaurants were in their food courts. Its first freestanding store opened in 1986; most of its new restaurants also are freestanding. As of 2011, the chain has over 800 such units. It also has over two dozen drive-through
Drive-through
A drive-through, or drive-thru, is a type of service provided by a business that allows customers to purchase products without leaving their cars. The format was first pioneered in the United States in the 1930s but has since spread to other countries. The first recorded use of a bank using a drive...

-only locations. Chick-fil-A also can be found at universities, hospitals, and airports through licensing agreements.

The chain grew from the Dwarf Grill (later the Dwarf House, a name still used by the chain), a restaurant opened by S. Truett Cathy
S. Truett Cathy
Samuel Truett Cathy is the founder of Chick-fil-A, a quick service restaurant chain based in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, USA.-Early life:...

, who is still the company's chairman, in the Atlanta, Georgia suburb of Hapeville
Hapeville, Georgia
Hapeville is a city in Fulton County, Georgia, United States, located directly adjacent to the city of Atlanta. The population was 6,373 at the 2010 census. It is named for Dr...

 in 1946. This restaurant is near the now-demolished Ford plant, where some workers ate between shifts.

The first Chick-fil-A that is in a mall opened in Atlanta's Greenbriar Mall
Greenbriar Mall
Greenbriar Mall is a shopping mall southwest of downtown Atlanta, United States..-Early years:Greenbriar Center opened in August/September 1965 as Atlanta's third totally enclosed mall, after Columbia Mall, in 1964, and North Dekalb Center, in July 1965. The design of the mall was like many of the...

 in 1967.http://www.chick-fil-a.com/#story The company's current trademarked slogan, "We Didn't Invent the Chicken, Just the Chicken Sandwich," refers to their flagship menu-item, the popular quick-serve or fast-food chicken sandwich. In 1961, Cathy found a pressure-fryer that could cook the sandwich chicken in the same amount of time it took to cook a fast-food hamburger.

Since 1997, the Atlanta-based company has been the title sponsor of the Peach Bowl, an annual college football
College football
College football refers to American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities...

 bowl game played in Atlanta. Beginning in the 2006 season, the Peach Bowl became the Chick-fil-A Bowl
Chick-fil-A Bowl
The Chick-fil-A Bowl, formerly called the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, and before that simply called the Peach Bowl, is an annual college football bowl game played in Atlanta, Georgia since December 1968. The first three Peach Bowls were played at Grant Field on the Georgia Tech campus in Atlanta....

. Chick-fil-A also is a key sponsor of the SEC
Southeastern Conference
The Southeastern Conference is an American college athletic conference that operates in the southeastern part of the United States. It is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama...

, ACC
Atlantic Coast Conference
The Atlantic Coast Conference is a collegiate athletic league in the United States. Founded in 1953 in Greensboro, North Carolina, the ACC sanctions competition in twenty-five sports in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association for its twelve member universities...

, and Big 12 conferences of college athletics.

Advertising

EAT MOR CHIKIN is the chain's most prominent advertising slogan, created by the The Richards Group
The Richards Group
The Richards Group is an American advertising agency. It is the largest independently owned agency in the country. . Working with founder, Stan Richards, there are 29 creative group heads....

. The slogan is often seen in advertisements, featuring cow
Cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

s that are often seen wearing signs. According to Chick-fil-A's advertising
Advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

 strategies, the cows have united in an effort to reform American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 food, in an effort to reduce the amount of beef
Beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

 which is eaten. They wish the American public to refrain from eating beef burger
Hamburger
A hamburger is a sandwich consisting of a cooked patty of ground meat usually placed inside a sliced bread roll...

s, common at Chick-fil-A's competitors, such as McDonald's
McDonald's
McDonald's Corporation is the world's largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 64 million customers daily in 119 countries. Headquartered in the United States, the company began in 1940 as a barbecue restaurant operated by the eponymous Richard and Maurice McDonald; in 1948...

, Burger King
Burger King
Burger King, often abbreviated as BK, is a global chain of hamburger fast food restaurants headquartered in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The company began in 1953 as Insta-Burger King, a Jacksonville, Florida-based restaurant chain...

 and Wendy's
Wendy's
Wendy's is an international fast food chain restaurant founded by Dave Thomas on November 15, 1969, in Columbus, Ohio, United States. The company decided to move its headquarters to Dublin, Ohio, on January 29, 2006. It has been owned by Triarc since 2008...

, and instead focus on eating chicken (or "chikin," as the cows spell it). The ad campaign was temporarily halted during a mad cow disease
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy , commonly known as mad-cow disease, is a fatal neurodegenerative disease in cattle that causes a spongy degeneration in the brain and spinal cord. BSE has a long incubation period, about 30 months to 8 years, usually affecting adult cattle at a peak age onset of...

 scare in late 2003/early 2004 so as not to make the chain seem insensitive or appear to be taking advantage of the scare to increase its sales. A few months later, the cows were put up again. The cows replaced the chain's old mascot, Doodles, an anthropomorphized chicken who still appears as the C on the logo.

Chick-fil-A Classic

The Chick-fil-A Classic is a high school basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 tournament held in Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia is the state capital and largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The population was 129,272 according to the 2010 census. Columbia is the county seat of Richland County, but a portion of the city extends into neighboring Lexington County. The city is the center of a metropolitan...

. The tournament is in its eighth year of operation and features nationally ranked players and teams. The tournament is co-sponsored by the Greater Columbia Educational Advancement Foundation (GCEAF) which provides scholarships to high school seniors in the greater Columbia area.

Dwarf House

At the original Chick-fil-A Dwarf House, in addition to the full-size entrances, there is also an extra small-sized front door. The original Dwarf House in Hapeville, Georgia is open 24 hours a day, six days a week, except on Sundays (when it closes at 4 a.m. on Sunday mornings and reopens at 6 a.m. on Monday mornings). It has a larger dine-in menu than the other Dwarf House locations as well as an animated seven dwarfs display in the back of the restaurant.

Truett's Grill

In 1996, the first Truett's Grill was opened in Morrow, Georgia
Morrow, Georgia
Morrow is a city in Clayton County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,882 at the 2000 census. It is the home of Clayton State University.-Geography:Morrow is located at ....

. The second location opened in 2003 in McDonough, Georgia
McDonough, Georgia
McDonough is a city in Henry County, Georgia, United States. The population was 22084 at the 2010 census. Inclusion of the unincorporated neighborhoods surrounding McDonough, which are not part of a town/city, raises the population to approximately 30,000 from an estimate in 2008. The city is the...

, and a third location opened in 2006 in Griffin, Georgia
Griffin, Georgia
Griffin is a city in and the county seat of Spalding County in the U.S. state of Georgia. It is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 23,643.-Geography:Griffin is located at ....

. Similar to the Chick-fil-A Dwarf Houses, these independently owned restaurants offer traditional, sit-down dining and expanded menu selections in a diner-themed atmosphere. One major difference to other Chick-fil-A restaurants, however, is the fact that beef products are served there, including steaks and hamburgers.

Religious and political views

S. Truett Cathy is a devout Southern Baptist; his religious beliefs are a major impact on the company. The company's official statement of corporate purpose says that the business exists "To glorify God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A." The chain invests heavily in community service
Community service
Community service is donated service or activity that is performed by someone or a group of people for the benefit of the public or its institutions....

s (especially for children and teenagers) and scholarship
Scholarship
A scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to further education. Scholarships are awarded on various criteria usually reflecting the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award.-Types:...

s. Cathy's beliefs are also responsible for one of the chain's distinctive features: All Chick-fil-A locations (company-owned and franchised, whether in a mall or freestanding) are closed on Sundays
Sunday shopping
Sunday shopping refers to the ability of retailers to operate stores on Sunday, a day that Christian tradition typically recognizes as the Sabbath, a "day of rest". Rules governing shopping hours, such as Sunday shopping, vary around the world but some European nations continue to ban Sunday shopping...

, as well as on Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving (United States)
Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It has officially been an annual tradition since 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be celebrated on Thursday,...

 and Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

. Cathy states as the final step in his Five-Step recipe for Business Success "I was not so committed to financial success that I was willing to abandon my principles and priorities. One of the most visible examples of this is our decision to close on Sunday. Our decision to close on Sunday was our way of honoring God and of directing our attention to things that mattered more than our business"

In an interview with ABC News's Nightline, Dan Cathy, Truett's son, gave reporter Vicki Mabrey
Vicki Mabrey
Vicki Mabrey is currently an ABC News Nightline correspondent. From 1999 to 2005, Mabrey was a CBS News 60 Minutes II correspondent....

 another reason why the company is closed on Sundays, saying his father opened his first restaurant on a Tuesday and "by the time Sunday came, he was just worn out. And Sunday was not a big trading day, anyway, at the time. So he was closed that first Sunday and we've been closed ever since. He figured if he didn't like working on Sundays, that other people didn't either." The younger Cathy quoted his father as saying "'I don't want to ask people to do that what I am not willing to do myself.'"

Chick-fil-A has promoted religious groups via toys and CDs included in children's meals.

Chick-fil-A's connection to Christianity has been brought before the courts when Aziz Latif, a Houston-based Muslim employee for six years, sued the company in 2002 for firing him, alleging that he was fired for his religious beliefs when he had refused to take part in an employee prayer. The suit was settled on undisclosed terms.

In 2011, various news outlets reported that Chick-fil-A was co-sponsoring a marriage conference along with the Pennsylvania Family Institute, a 501(c)3 organization that seeks to "strengthen families by restoring to public life the traditional, foundational principles and values essential for the well-being of society". PFI filed an amicus brief
Amicus curiae
An amicus curiae is someone, not a party to a case, who volunteers to offer information to assist a court in deciding a matter before it...

 against the trial ruling striking down Proposition 8 in California, and also lobbied against a state effort to ban discrimination in Pennsylvania on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. This apparent affiliation coupled with donations from the company's Winshape Foundation to anti gay-marriage organizations such as the National Organization for Marriage
National Organization for Marriage
The National Organization for Marriage is a nonprofit political association established in 2007 to work against legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States, specifically to pass California Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage in California...

 as well as foundation statements that same-sex couples were not welcome at the foundation's marriage institute caused several colleges and universities to form grassroots efforts to ban or remove Chick-fil-A from their campuses.

Responding to these news reports via their official company Facebook page, Chick-fil-A said "First and foremost, thanks for your patience as we made sure we gathered the facts in regards to recent postings. We have determined that one of our independent Restaurant Operators in Pennsylvania was asked to provide sandwiches to two Art of Marriage video seminars. As our fans, you know we do our best to serve our local communities, and one of the ways we do that is by providing food to schools, colleges, civic groups, businesses, places of worship, not-for-profit groups, etc. At his discretion, the local Operator agreed to simply provide a limited amount of food. Our Chick-fil-A Operators and their employees try very hard every day to go the extra mile in serving ALL of our customers with honor, dignity and respect."

State of California court case

In 2006 a lawsuit was brought by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., which promotes a vegan diet, preventive medicine, alternatives to animal research, and encourages what it describes as "higher standards of ethics and effectiveness in research." Its primary...

 against McDonald's, Applebee’s, Outback Steakhouse, Chili’s, TGI Fridays, Burger King and Chick-fil-A. The organization asserted that cooking certain meats, including chicken, at high temperatures causes the meat to contain the chemical PhIP a compound which had caused cancer in lab rats and mice. A 2009 ruling for the defendants was followed by an August 2010 appeal decided in favor of the plaintiffs. The matter has not been legally resolved and is still before the courts of California.

External links

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