Industry News | January 26, 2000

Chick-fil-A Takes a Strong Step Forward

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Chick-fil-A Inc., announced January 25, 2000 its 1999 system-wide sales of $946,129,539—an 18.48 percent sales surge over 1998, which continues the chain's streak of 32 consecutive years of sales increases. These figures reflect a 6.15 percent same-store sales increase—the most important measure of sales performance—and help ensure Chick-fil-A's goal of reaching the $1 billion sales mark by the end of this year.

Chick-fil-A's sales success cannot truly be appreciated until it is compared to the performance of the quick-service industry as a whole. The chain's overall 18.48 percent sales increase eclipsed the industry's 4.6 percent projected 1999 sales growth (1.8 percent, adjusted for inflation).

Although Chick-fil-A credits several factors for its tremendous sales growth last year, the chain sees its restaurant franchisees as the main driving force behind its swelling sales. "Chick-fil-A's success ultimately lies in the hands of our restaurant Operators," said Chick-fil-A President James L.S. Collins. "Our Operators are the best in the quick-service industry, and it's exciting to see them continue to better themselves year after year. It's also comforting to have the sales-building mindset of our Operators as we enter the new millennium."

Also contributing to Chick-fil-A's strong sales performance is the launch of the chain's new and improved salad entrees. In October, Chick-fil-A revamped three of its original salads, the Chargrilled Chicken Garden Salad, Chick-n-Strips¨ Salad and Side Salad, and introduced an all-new entree salad, the Chargrilled Chicken Caesar Salad.

Chick-fil-A is extending its highly successful salad launch into the early part of 2000 with its "Tern Over A New Leef" promotion. As implied by its title, the campaign is designed to capitalize on consumers' New Year's resolutions - promoting Chick-fil-A's salads as a healthy alternative for quick-service dining. Chick-fil-A has enlisted the help of its popular "Eat Mor Chikin¨" Cows to tout its Tern Over A New Leef message in a variety of its marketing efforts. The campaign runs from Jan. 17 through March 4.

The chain also has steadily focused on expansion, opening 88 new outlets (56 free-standing, 20 licensed, 11 mall units, and one location in South Africa) in 1999, primarily focusing on further penetration in existing markets. In 2000, Chick-fil-A plans to open 96 new restaurants, including 65 freestanding units, 30 licensed outlets and one mall location - bringing the total number of restaurants to nearly 1,000 by year's end.

Licensing the Chick-fil-A brand to major foodservice partners has enabled the chain to open 150 licensed Chick-fil-A outlets since 1992 in such non-traditional locations as universities, hospitals and Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport. These licensed outlets provide boundless opportunities for Chick- fil-A to expand its customer base.

While the chain is committed to retaining its current customers, Chick-fil-A also continues to make brand-building strides to attract new customers. The significant performance by Chick-fil-A franchisees has been supported by major brand-building efforts such as high-profile sponsorships and the hugely successful Eat Mor Chikin campaign starring the Chick-fil-A "Cows." The international award-winning campaign has enjoyed such widespread success that the chain has turned the theme into its most successful, fully- integrated marketing program, which includes in-store point-of-purchase materials and promotions; billboard, radio and TV advertising; plus clothing and merchandise sales of nearly $9 million. Chick-fil-A also will air new "Cow TV" ads over the next year.

Title sponsorship of the LPGA Tour's Chick-fil-A Charity Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez (April 24 - 30) and college football's Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl also have played a major role in building awareness for the chain. The record sell-out crowd of 73,315 fans pushed the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl to the third-highest attended bowl game in the country-only the Rose and Sugar Bowls were higher.

As of Dec. 31, 1999, Chick-fil-A had 897 locations in 35 states and South Africa. Chick-fil-A serves nutritious food products in malls, freestanding units, drive-thru-only outlets, Chick-fil-A Dwarf House¨ and Truett's Grill¨ full-service restaurants, and through licensed outlets in college campuses, hospitals, airports, businesses and industrial sites.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.