The Chick-fil-A company, ranked highest among fast food restaurants in the U.S. for customer satisfaction in the 2015 American Customer Satisfaction Index Restaurant Report, has announced plans to open restaurants in New York. To some, it’s a bold move for the politically conservative company whose restaurants are always closed on Sundays. Many industry experts are interested to see how the conservative restaurant chain will be received by liberal minded New Yorkers.
The Chick-fil-A company became the focus of national attention a few years ago when its president, Dan Cathy, sent out a controversial tweet that he later deleted. The tweet was in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that same-sex couples should be entitled to federal benefits just the same as their heterosexual counterparts. Cathy’s deleted tweet read, “Sad day for our nation; founding fathers would be ashamed of our gen. to abandon wisdom of the ages re: cornerstone of strong societies.”
The Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex couples was embraced by numerous groups across the country, including liberal New Yorkers. Cathy’s conservative tweet caused such a stir that many LGBT rights activists and other groups called for protests and boycotts of the privately held company. Cathy ultimately deleted the controversial tweet, stating that his views did not “necessarily represent the views of all customers, restaurant owners and employees.” Cathy has not publicly commented on the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in favor of same-sex marriage.
The first New York based Chic-fil-A restaurant will open this Saturday on October 3, 2015. Located on the corner of West 37th Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan and spanning three floors, the restaurant will be the largest in the U.S. for Chick-fil-A. The restaurant opening also brings approximately 180 new jobs, both full-time and part-time, to the Manhattan area. Company vice president David B. Farmer expects the location to draw more traffic than any of the other 1,900 Chick-fil-A restaurants currently open across the country.
The opening of restaurant locations in New York is indicative of Chick-fil-A’s continued growth. While other fast food restaurants, such as McDonald’s, are struggling and announcing location closings, Chick-fil-A remains profitable. The trade publication QSR reports that Chick-fil-A’s annual sales at $3.1 million, which is among the highest in the fast-food restaurant industry. What is more impressive is that Chick-fil-A is beating out competitors that are open seven days a week while all of its locations are closed on Sundays.