Chick-fil-A’s present and future have collided. The result is not pretty.
The problem is that the region from where it gets most of its profits and the areas where it’s looking to grow have two totally different sets of values.
Smarter enterprises would avoid the resulting cultural IEDs of social issues and, instead, would concentrate on pushing chicken and waffle fries. But Chick-fil-A became a must-stop for hungry Southerners, in part, because they constantly highlighted the beliefs that their below the Mason-Dixon line customers held dear. Check out this Wall Street Journal graphic to see the sales divide:
As Chick-fil-A seeks to become a national brand, it’s been unable to reconcile its retro-smalltown beliefs with an increasingly globalized America. Consequently, Chick-fil-A outlets have become the latest cultural battlefield in a country struggling to figure out whether to embrace its future or shove it in the basement. It’s an ongoing fight.
But for nimble companies, the future is always a safer bet than the present or the past. Economic necessity may force the Georgia-based company to increasingly keep its views in the pews and out of its sandwiches.
As Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy demonstrated with his inflammatory comments about LGBT rights, the problem is that financial logic doesn’t always win out.