Chick-fil-A and the Lord’s Day
Chick-fil-A continues to draw media attention as they enter the Canadian restaurant market while their owners remain unashamed of their Christian values and their commitment to stay closed on the Lord’s Day. Chick-fil-A has begun opening their first phase of at least 20 Canadian outlets in cities such as Toronto, Kitchener, and Windsor. A steady stream of customers has supported each store after opening, despite frequent media coverage of protests by those opposed to the Christian values of the owners.
For many years now Chick-fil-A have stood apart from most of their competition, who in the restaurant and fast-food sector are typically open seven days a week. While industry analysts have estimated that the chain loses more than a billion dollars in sales per year for staying closed on Sunday, the ongoing growth and success of Chick -fil-A has left many speculating how this can be possible. For example, the Business Insider reported in June 2019 that, while Chick-fil-A's decision to close on Sundays is driven by religious values, analysts say that it is a brilliant business strategy that gives “employees a chance to recharge”, and “creates a sense of community and scarcity among customers”.
Fast food competitors often record Sunday as one of their busiest days and would not think that closing on 14% of the days each year would provide a competitive advantage. Nevertheless, the double-digit growth in revenue experienced by Chick-fil-A has resulted in their 2,700 outlets currently being more profitable on average than any of their competitors. The family restaurant franchise has continued to grow across the US and is now the third largest restaurant chain in the US. Despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Atlanta-based restaurant chain reported record revenues in 2020 amounting to 4.3 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 0.5 billion U.S. dollars from the previous year.
Chick- fil-A's founder, Truett Cathy, was faithful in instructing his children about his Christian convictions. Before his death in 2014 he had them commit to uphold them. In his book entitled “Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People: Doing Business the Chick-fil-A Way” he wrote: "Closing our business on Sunday, the Lord's Day, is our way of honoring God and showing our loyalty to Him. My brother Ben and I closed our first restaurant on the first Sunday after we opened in 1946, and my children have committed to closing our restaurants on Sundays long after I'm gone. I believe God honors our decision and sets before us unexpected opportunities to do greater work for Him because of our loyalty."