Chick-Fil-A Looks Beyond the U. S. for Expansion


According to press reports, Chick-fil-A is developing a long-term plan to expand into Europe and Asia.  The Chick-fil-A brand has apparently benefited from increased sales reported to have quadrupled over ten years, although the family-held company does not release sales or financial data.


Chick-fil-A operates eight stores in Canada but has little experience in overseas international markets. An initial entry to the U.K with a trial location in university city, Reading, Berks. was a disaster and the location was forced to close after three months. Any foray into either Europe or Asia would compete directly with established chains including Yum Brands’ KFC, Burger King and McDonald’s Corporation. Expansion into Asia would even be more complicated and would require a substantial partner in each nation selected.


According to Technomic, Chick-fil-A has expanded to approximately 3,000 U. S locations with sales per unit far in excess of competitors’ locations.


Under the leadership of Andrew Cathy, CEO and third-generation executive, it is possible that Chick-fil-A could develop an appropriate culture conducive to international operation and attract managers with relevant experience.  The question arises as to whether Chick-fil-A has sufficient flexibility to adapt to different business models and consumer tastes in markets to which they aspire.