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Chick-fil-A’s: Strategic Plan, SMART Goals


History of the Company

Chick-fil-A is a United States fast-food restaurant chain specializing in chicken sandwiches. Founded in 1946, it grew from a small diner in Hapeville in the state of Georgia to one of the largest American fast food companies. Chick-fil-A was founded by a Baptist teacher S. Truett Cathy. He cooperated with his brother, who helped him create a unique menu of sandwiches. The store included only meals with chicken as opposed to beef.

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Current CEO

The current chief executive officer (CEO) is Daniel Truett Cathy, known as Dan Cathy. He assumed the position in 2013, which will make nine years at the end of 2021. Dan Cathy is the son of S. Truett Cathy, who had retired in 2013. Dan Cathy spent most of his life working in Chick-fil-A, finally becoming its president and CEO.

Amount of Locations

Chick-fil-A has stores in virtually every state, from Alabama to Wyoming. Overall, there are 2671 locations in 48 states and territories and 1200 cities (How many Chick-Fil-A locations are there in United States?, n.d.). The Eastern states contain most of the stores, while Texas as many as 400 Chick-fil-A restaurants.

Goals for the Paper

The purpose of the paper is to analyze Chick-fil-A as a company in the fast-food industry, ascertain potential venues of its development and pinpoint goals that should be achieved by this company in five years.

Mission Statement

The core idea at the basis of the company is the fusion of Biblical and business principles, which was used from the start of the company. Chick-fil-A promotes a culture of care for both customers and its staff. The appealing aspect of Chick-fil-A’s mission is that the Christian values do not let the business interest take advantage of Sundays. At the same time, the appeal to religious values is used in brand promotion, which may be considered as an abuse of its corporate culture (Kim et al., 2017). Instead, the religiosity should be used only in job advertisements and emphasize religious diversity in its promotional materials.


The first goal the business can achieve in the future is removing the chickens raised with antibiotics from food production. The measure of success is achieving a 100% of chicken sandwiches without the dangerous bacteria. It is possible to accomplish because chicken farmers control the infusion of antibiotics in birds. The ability to promote the absence of antibiotics as the selling point constitutes the relevance. The timeframe for achieving the goal is three years.

The second goal is increasing customer attraction. The initiative will be successful if the advertisement slogans emphasize indiscriminate customer treatment, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, or status. It is entirely possible to accomplish because such an advertisement would not contradict the corporate mission. It is realistic since modern societal tendencies to criticize segregation will positively influence the consumer interest in Chick-fil-A. This goal can be accomplished within a year.

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The third goal is extending the presence of Chick-fil-A’s restaurants to countries with strong Baptist following. The success is measured by opening a subsidiary in Ukraine. It is realistic because Babtist values lie at the core of Chick-fil-A, and Ukraine is famous for having a high number of Baptist churches. Utilizing the religious principles in promotion will be in line with both the corporate culture and local Baptists. The deadline for meeting the goal is five years.

Industry Analysis

In the past, the fast-food industry was defined by the abundant selection of outlets and restaurants, which were owned by a large corporation. Most of the food consumption was done either inside the restaurants or near the outlets. The better the quality of service was, the more customers a restaurant was likely to attract.

At present, the fast-food industry has shifted to a more digital space. The advancements of Internet-based services have allowed restaurants to organize food deliveries. Moreover, the pandemic-induced fear of social proximity has propelled many people to avoid visiting restaurants and rely on delivery (Emery et al., 2017). Therefore, some restaurants operate on a delivery-only basis.

In future, the fast-food industry is likely to be characterized by a higher number of companies, which produce meat and food ingredients in the lab. On the one hand, such methods of production will eliminate the problem of protecting animals from diseases. On the other hand, it is not clear how lab-grown food will affect human health in the long term perspective. However, if such methods of production become cheaper than the classic use of farms, then most companies will likely shift to lab-grown food.

SWOT Analysis

The primary strengths of Chick-fil-A include brand loyalty, Baptism-based corporate culture and the concept of offering a simple menu accompanied by the high quality of customer service.

The weaknesses encompass informational leaks about the use of chemicals in chicken sandwiches, selection of chicken, which were raised with antibiotics, and the use of religious values in advertising.

The opportunities manifest in the investment into delivery services. The quicker customers can acquire Chick-fil-A’s sandwiches, the higher customer satisfaction will be (Emery et al., 2017). At the same time, it may be beneficial to repurpose some of the restaurants into the production-only mode, while the service will be performed by the delivery.

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The threats to the company comprise excessive reliance on religion in promotions and Sundays. As social justice becomes more and more prominent, the company will likely face criticism regarding its traditional religious attitudes (Kim et al., 2017). At the same time, as more and more restaurants shift to deliveries, the customers’ inability to purchase food on Sundays will jeopardize the company’s competitiveness.

The trends in Chick-fil-A’s activities include the diversification of the menu, which now includes fish sandwiches. Also, the company acknowledges the Internet opportunities and sustains an online app and food delivery service.

Perceptual Map

Pricewise, Chick-fil-A has never been an attractive restaurant. McDonald’s offers similar poultry-based meals at a lower price. Similarly, Burger King is also less expensive for consumers. However, McDonald’s is notorious for using ingredients of lesser size. Chick-fil-A beats both competitors because of the simple and qualitative poultry used in sandwiches (Wu, 2019). As a result, McDonald’s is on the lower axis of quality and price. Burger King is higher on the quality axis, and Chick-fil-A tops them both by selling high-quality food at high prices.


Altogether, Chick-fil-A has survived on brand loyalty and business principles, however, modern developments necessitate changes in the business model and service variety.


Emery, B. G., Hodges, B., & Tiger, A. (2017). Simulating the impact of mobile ordering at Chick-fil-A. Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness, 11(1), 51-58.

How many Chick-Fil-A locations are there in United States? (n.d.). Web.

Kim, K., Kim, J., & Reid, L. N. (2017). Experiencing motivational conflict on social media in a crisis situation: The case of the Chick-fil-A same-sex marriage controversy. Computers in Human Behavior, 71, 32-41.

Wu, J. (2019). Beyond the sandwich wars: Chick-fil-A’s history of outrunning competitors and criticism. CNBC. Web.

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