Victory tastes like chicken. Despite a year filled with protests and a smorgasbord of media scrutiny, recent evidence shows Chick-fil-A didn’t just survive becoming the target of a boy cott led by gay activists last summer. It’s flourishing. The popular fast-food chicken restaurant found itself in the cross hairs of media attention and activ ist protests after CEO Dan Cathy said in interviews with Christian media that he supports “the biblical definition of the family unit.”
Liberal groups had protested Chick-fil-A’s charitable contributions before, especially unhappy that the firm’s WinShape Founda tion had donated money to groups like the Marriage & Family Foun dation and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. After Cathy’s comments ricocheted around the Internet, pro-gay organizations targeted the company. That, in turn, spurred hundreds of thousands to support a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” led by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Aug. 1. The results speak for them selves: The restaurant chain grew both in profits and locations last year. While the 500 largest U.S. restaurant chains showed sales growth of 4.9 percent, Chick-fil- A nearly tripled that result with 14.1 percent, according to Tech nomic Inc., a Chicago-based con sulting and research firm serving the food industry.
“The fast food giant, the nation’s second-largest chicken chain, ended 2012 with $4.6 billion in sales,” reported the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “The company also opened 96 new stores, four more than the year before.”