The Wall Street Journal reports that "Chick-fil-A Inc. is reaching beyond North America with a $1 billion plan to take its signature crispy chicken-breast sandwich overseas.
"The Atlanta-based company said it plans to open restaurants in Europe and Asia by 2026, with locations in five international markets by 2030."
CEO Andrew Cathy is quoted as saying that "Chick-fil-A has plenty of room to grow in the U.S., but that an international presence is necessary as the family-owned business charts its future."
“We feel like it’s time to continue to innovate and try and test how we will do in international markets so that we can learn,” Cathy tells the Journal.
Some context from the story:
"Sales of Chick-fil-A’s signature crispy chicken-breast sandwich have long been ahead of the pack. The company’s relatively simple menu focused on poultry has helped privately held Chick-fil-A grow to become the third-biggest U.S. fast-food chain by sales behind McDonald’s and Starbucks Corp., according to market-research firm Technomic Inc.
Its U.S. sales have quadrupled in the past decade, with its restaurants averaging more yearly sales than any other fast-food chain and many sit-down ones, Technomic said.
Chick-fil-A is still determining how many international restaurants it will open overseas, Mr. Cathy said. It is planning to stick with its model in which franchisees run just one restaurant, working closely with the company and splitting profit with the chain after paying fees."
- KC's View:
Chick-fil-A is said to be looking for stable economies and dense populations, combined with a high demands for chicken. That all sounds fine, but I'll be interested to see a) how those international markets respond to the closed-on-Sundays policy, and b) how much Chick-fil-A will deviate from its traditional/simple menu to cater to local tastes.