The first Chick-fil-A sandwich I ever ate was more than 30 years ago in Ft. Worth. The father of a guy I knew was their regional franchise director – and I stopped in soon after he told me about it. That was the first of at least a dozen visits a year, so it’s safe to say, I’ve eaten more than 300 of them… each served with a couple dill pickle chips on top.
While Chick-fil-A expanded its menu over the decades, the classic crispy fried chicken breast sandwich is still the best seller. Those ‘Eat mor Chikin’ cows in the television commercials and on billboards around the country know a good thing when they see it.
Recently I read the average Chick-fil-A does more than $3 million in sales annually. That’s a lot of sandwiches at $3 each. I’ve heard the location right by our house is one of the best in the system… and since there is a line nonstop from early morning, through rush-time lunch, mid-afternoon and well into the dinner hours, their sales must be amazing. (Imagine if they opened on Sundays!)
In contrast, the franchise that started the chicken craze way back in the 50’s with its secret recipe – despite a recent run of television spots featuring well-known actors impersonating the Colonel – averages just under $1 million per location. KFC (rebranded to lessen the Fried focus) doesn’t quite meet the AAAA grade of its rival.
The lesson here comes straight out of Jack Palance in “City Slickers”. Find your one thing and do it really well. Multiple that by 2,000+ locations and you impact a lot of people with a smiling “Welcome to Chick-fil-A” and a cheery “My pleasure to serve you” sendoff.
Note: About 10 years ago, I started ordering the healthier grilled version on most visits to Chick-fil-A. Getting older has its drawbacks.