There’s a New Chicken King in Town

And he opposes gay rights?

Big news in fried chicken land, courtesy of Businessweek: Chick-fil-a has now outpaced KFC as the #1 chicken provider in these here United States.

Last year Chick-fil-A only had about 1,775 U.S. stores to KFC’s 4,491, and most are in the South. Yet in dollar terms the Colonel is coming up short even with that much larger footprint: Chick-fil-A’s 2013 sales passed $5 billion, while all of KFC’s U.S. restaurants rang up about $4.22 billion, according to Technomic. And that’s with zero dollars coming in to Chick-fil-A on Sundays, when every restaurant is closed.

Apparently KFC sales have stagnated over the past decade, where Chick-fil-A’s have grown, averaging about $3.2M in sales per store.

I haven’t eaten chicken in about six years* so I thankfully haven’t had to reckon my progressive politics with the sheer deliciousness of that fried chicken sandwich, which I remember fondly to this day. Fuck. But I boycott them in my heart. While acknowledging their product to be superior. Which makes the boycott all the more sacrificial. Or it would, if there were an easily accesible Chick-fil-A in New York. And if I weren’t a vegetarian.

Photo: Charles Starrett

*OKAY I ate two of my niece’s dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets over Christmas break but the baby made me do it.

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21 Comments / Post A Comment

punzy (#160)

I would say I boycott them, but that involve actually wanting their food. If I ever feel like fried chicken (unusual to begin with), there are so many options here (North Carolina) that Chick-fil-a falls pretty far down on the list.

garli (#4,150)

@punzy I’m in the sameish boat. I never want fried chicken and they didn’t open a Chick-fil-a in my town until after their gross politics came up. So I don’t eat there ever, but there was never a chance I would have.

shannowhamo (#845)

@punzy Their actual chicken is eh but the waffle fries and honey mustard are what I miss the most!

wrappedupinbooks (#1,426)

I have only had Chick-fil-a once, and it was within the past year. I felt guilty while I was eating, and guilty when the topic comes up, but it was so delicious. I’m such a bad queer.

Christy (#3,892)

@wrappedupinbooks I feel ya. As a fellow queer, I boycotted for around two years. And I kept wanting it! I finally gave in and got a chicken sandwich and waffle fries. And you know what? The chicken sandwich is so good that it’s worth compromising my morals for. The fries are not. So when I go (which is maybe every 4 months; there aren’t any near me) I only get the chicken because the fries aren’t that great. But the chicken? The chicken is worth it.

And besides, as my also-queer, also-Chick-fil-a-loving bff says “Eh, we’re winning the war.”

Meaghano (#529)

@Christy And to the victors go the delicious chicken sandwiches!

wrappedupinbooks (#1,426)

@Christy I like your bff, haha A+ rationalization. I live in the NE, so luckily I don’t often have to face the temptation, but when I do I’ll be happy to have that one in my back pocket.

honey cowl (#1,510)

@wrappedupinbooks Fortunately we don’t have them in my state, but when I go home, man I REALLY want that chicken. So many middle/high school memories in that sandwich!

Bonnie St. Clair (#2,949)

@Christy And besides, as my also-queer, also-Chick-fil-a-loving bff says “Eh, we’re winning the war.” Ha, I like it.

@wrappedupinbooks hahaha this is perfect. Last time I was in LA with fellow queer BFF and we finished dancing our faces off at lady-dance-night in West Hollywood, we sure did peel into Chik Fil A and go to town.

I’m a bad EVERYTHING tho’.

LookUponMyWorks (#2,616)

BOJANGLES FOREVER.

RiffRandell (#4,774)

@LookUponMyWorks YES

therealjaygatsby (#4,053)

I haven’t had Chick-fil-A in about four or five years, but I remember liking the pickles on their fried chicken sandwiches AND THE LEMONADE. Also, pretty amazing that each store averaged $3.2 million in sales in 2013. Americans really love their fried chicken I suppose.

honey cowl (#1,510)

@therealjaygatsby THE MILKSHAKES THO

mckfox (#5,928)

Same! Veg for six years now too. I’ve taken the high road by default.

I do miss fried chicken every single day though!

potatopotato (#5,255)

It’s pretty easy to find somewhere else to eat (ohai new Chipotle) because our only Chick-fil-a is in the mall. But they used to be my shopping-day-eatery-of-choice, and they always had fantastic customer service. They look you in the eye and address you by name, and they bring your food to your seat when it’s up. If it’s quiet, they also will come around and offer to fetch you more napkins and ketchup. I don’t want to support their political views, but before that was A Thing I was happy to support their product and business model. They’re very good at the thing they do.

Bonnie St. Clair (#2,949)

I have a personal rule about not going to Chik-fil-A, primarily because of their politics, but I did happily indulge in a giant tray of Chik-fil-A nuggets at a toddler birthday party last year. I figured the tray had already been ordered and was going to be eaten regardless of whether I partook, so I might as well get my Chik-fil-A fix then. I looked up the pickle-juice copycat C-f-A nugget recipe a while back and was going to try to make them myself, but I never got around to it. If the craving ever gets bad enough, I figure I’ll try out that recipe.

But basically, as a gay person living in the U.S. South (the only gay in the village!)(jk, there are lots of gay people here), I figure there are probably businesses I patronize whose owners might be opposed to marriage equality, work discrimination protections for LGTBQI people, etc. – Chik-fil-A just happens to be one of the few big companies that has been open about that. In a way, I respect them for their openness, but not enough to make me feel OK supporting their business.

ATF (#4,229)

This is a case of not knowing what I’m missing. They don’t really exist in Massachusetts and they definitely don’t exist in Boston – they tried to expand near Northeastern University last spring but Mayor Mumbles and the student body made enough of a ruckus re: their gay policies that they wound up reconsidering their plans. At any rate, it’s just fried food and fast food at that. Plenty of other places in this world serve it and probably aren’t so homophobic.

grog (#2,222)

Man, these rationalizations are making it tough for me to stand my ground. It’s my kids’ favorite fast food place, but we’ve been boycotting it since their politics came to light (we even boycott it on restaurant night, where a portion of the proceeds go to the kids’ school, which seems pretty backwards).

I don’t know what’s tougher for my family though – boycotting Chick-fil-A or Hobby Lobby (which has a better selection than Michaels).

shannowhamo (#845)

@grog Ug, the Hobby Lobby thing drives me nuts, they are by far the best all around craft store near me!

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