2012 was a rotten year for Chick-fil-A, right? CEO Dan Cathy came out against gay marriage, there were boycotts and protests, and late-night comedy jokes, PETA got in on the act, and the company’s sales went up 12%. Wait, what? Any press is good press? Or that chicken is just addicting? Or God really does prefer Chick-fil-A Waffle Potato Fries over fags?
But for every new store that opens there seems to be another that’s shut out of more responsible communities and that’s a good thing. And with C-F-A so inextricably associated with marriage bigotry, even as America embraces marriage equality like never before, their prospects over the long term don’t look good, however many free sandwiches they hand out. And honestly, we’ve had their chicken and it’s not that great.
CFA is headed for a slow decline. With their strong identification with the religious right and against gays in general, it’s going to be difficult in the future to find new franchisees. Additionally, at corporate HQ, it’s going to be much harder to recruit qualified MBAs and other people they need to grow the company. Who would want to associate themselves with such a company? Religious extremists are very few in the upper ranks of highly qualified managers.
So they will go in slow decline, I predict, as they make small errors, miss opportunities, and have generally mediocre management from top to bottom. The only people they can attract at this point are the strongly anti-gay people, which pretty much eliminates the whole next generation.
I’m not worried — there are plenty of other fast food restaurants eager to steal their market share, and they will.