Case Folio
Chick-fil-A: A Recipe for Success

Article Details
Pub. Date : Dec' 2020
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Case Folio
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJCF41220
Author Name : Benudhar Sahu and Indu Perepu
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 17



The case is about Atlanta-based fast food restaurant chain Chick-fil-A's innovative business practices that made it the 3rd largest restaurant chain in the US. Known for its delicious chicken sandwich, Chick-fil-A witnessed consecutive years of growth since its founding in 1967. The success of Chick-fil-A was attributed to its simple ingredients, menu additions, efficient drive-thru performance, and single-owner franchise system, among others. Chick-fil-A took great care of its employees, offering a warm, familiar workplace environment, and this translated into the best customer service in the fast food sector in the US. The company focused on innovating and improving its products, services, and processes in order to better serve customers and communities. Innovation was the central part of Chick-fil-A's business. It continued to innovate through its innovation center that focused on digital technology. All these practices helped Chick-fil-A attract and retain customers, and made it the 'most beloved fast food chain in America'. Despite the challenges the company faced due to its beliefs and the competitive business environment, it maintained a leading position in the industry. However, with competitors fast catching up, it remained to be seen whether the fast food giant would be able to hold on to its position.


In 2019, Chick-fil-A, the Atlanta-based fast food restaurant chain known for its delicious chicken sandwich, was recognized as the top intimate fast food brand ahead of American fast food giants Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks Corporation (see Exhibit I for the Top 10 US Most Intimate Fast Food Brands in 2019). Chick-fil-A was successful in building a strong profile among a broad range of consumers including women, men, millennials, and people from various income groups. In addition to its reputation as a people-centric organization, the company's consistent growth, stellar customer service, quality food, and use of new technologies were said to be the key reasons for the company maintaining the leading position among the fast food restaurant chains year after year.

Chick-fil-A, founded as the Dwarf Grill in 1946, was one of the largest American fast food restaurant chains, whose speciality was chicken sandwiches. The restaurant chain had long been known for its innovative and out-of-the-box thinking. The company focused on continuing to innovate and improve its products, processes, and services to better serve customers and communities alike. Innovations like a mobile app, new store layouts, easy kitchen operations, new menu items, bicycle drive thru restaurants, and speedy drive thru lines were highly popular with the customers.