A survey of fast food preferences by the American Customer Service Index has just named Chick-fil-A as the nation’s favorite fast food restaurant for the fourth year in a row. The 23,000 consumers polled ranked the chain’s accuracy, food quality, menu variety, cleanliness, staff behavior, and website satisfaction higher than those of the 17 other chains included.
Chick-fil-A also produces more revenue than any other fast food operation, with average sales per unit reaching almost $4.5 million in 2016, compared to units of McDonald’s, which averaged just over $2.5 million.
And of course its chicken-centric menu – and famous waffle fries – are a big draw. (The chain’s grilled chicken nuggets got the nod in our recent listing of the healthiest option at every fast food restaurant.)
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Sound like the kind of company you’d like to get involved with? Chick-fil-A will let you get in the game for only $10,000 ($15,000 Canadian dollars if you’re north of the border). Of course, that’s just for the rights to operate a franchise unit of the chain – but Chick-fil-A will pay all the start-up costs after that, including real estate, construction, and equipment.
The downside? First of all, applicants have to qualify for the right to become a franchisee. More than 20,000 would-be chicken-slingers apply every year and only 75 or 80 make the cut. Don’t bother applying if you have any other business venture or expect Chick-fil-A to build your place at a specific location, and be prepared to work hands-on on a full-time basis (with Sundays off – all units close that day).
For many potential franchisees, however, there’s a bigger problem: The chain has been repeatedly censured by LGBTQ groups for the opposition of its CEO to gay marriage and for donating repeatedly to anti-gay groups through the Chick-fil-A Foundation. The controversy doesn’t seem to have been bad for business, however, and Chick-fil-A has been ranked as one of the most popular stores for millenials.
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