Just a stone's throw away from my office work space, there's an empty lot in a prime location in the Upper-Middle Class suburb where I spend my time neglecting Beacon of Speech.
Every single available lot in the town is snatched up and developed ASAP, but this particular lot, it seemed like there was something behind the scenes holding up its development. Then, well then yesterday a small poster was staked into the ground that read "Coming Soon: Chick-Fil-A."
By the end of the day, someone had already torn that poster in half.
I went home and the local Facebook Public Forum was buzzing with activity. On one side, Progressives lamented that hate was coming to their community in the form of Chicken Sandwiches, while on the other side of the argument Local Conservatives cheered that a Christian presence is always welcome in the community.
The problem is that neither side is right and both arguments are a symptom of what's wrong with American life in 2019. Strip away the politics of Chick-Fil-A and ask me, the author, what's wrong, or right, with the restaurant chain and I can sum it up in 1 sentence: Chick-Fil-A has awesome food, but our family almost never goes there because it's too expensive and everyone is hungry half an hour after they leave.
The last time we ate at Chick-Fil-A the bill came to $42. For Fast Food. (In Ohio.)
I remember exactly what I got and it was excellent.
12 piece Chick-Fil-A Nuggets $5.55
Side of Fries $1.95
Small soda $1.79.
I also had the mustard sauce with the Nuggets and mayo and hot sauce with the fries. Because it was a meal combo, I didn't pay the full price but the Combo Price, which was around $9. My son got a milkshake instead of a soda, and we dined in, so the bill was easily over $40. If we went through the drive-thru and I made my son get a Coke, we could have trimmed the price to around $36,
But that doesn't change the fact that you don't get generous portions at Chick-Fil-A, you get generous condiments. I learned that one bite of food with one dip of condiment sauce fills you up better than no condiments. (Oh my lord, don't ask me the calorie count on that practice.)
Then when we got home from shopping after dinner, my kid asked me, "do we get a second dinner, I'm still hungry." I couldn't yell at him, I was kind of hungry too.....
One of the things that sucks about fast food is the hours. I managed a Taco Bell that opened at 9:30 am in the morning and closed at 3:00 am. There were people physically in the building every hour of the day except for between 4 and 7 am.
Most Chick-Fil-As are open from 6 am to 10pm and are closed on Sundays. McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, Wendy's, Arby's all have more extended hours of operations, but at those restaurants, the hamster wheel never stops spinning.
Chick-Fil-A's owners are actually smart businessmen by picking the day with the least amount of sales and a day that is often requested off to close. Critics may lament the Christian angle on why CFA closes on Sunday, but if Saturday was the Sabbath, (their busiest day) they wouldn't be closed on Satudays. By limiting their hours, Chick-Fil-A can:
Focus on cleanliness
Focus on good service
Give a day of rest for management and crew
Other fast food competitors might say they focus on cleanliness, service, and the needs of their employees, but when you're open 24/7, you don't have the resources to meet those needs. You burn out your crew and replace them with another set of minimum wage jockeys.
Chick-Fil-A is consistently better at delivering on all aspects of the fast food experience.
If you want excellent chicken, crappy rest of the menu, horrible service, and good prices, go to KFC.
If you want excellent chicken, great rest of the menu, great service, and high prices, go to
I would argue that KFC has the worst service of ALL of the fast food chains, but our family goes there more often than Chick-Fil-A because they are $10-15 cheaper per meal and you are full when you leave. (But then the family has to listen to me complain about the experience for the rest of the evening.)
Apparently you have to choose your priorities.
If my family isn't around and I'm going to splurge on myself and spend $10 for lunch on chicken, I ain't going to Chick-Fil-A. For the same price, I'm going to the next level up, like Chipotle, Boston Market, or Popeyes Louisiana Chicken.
And I haven't even mentioned the times that the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru line has circled the building and is out to the street. I'm not waiting in that line....