Chick-Fil-A is one of the most iconic and successful eateries in the United States. It serves tens of millions of dishes and makes billions of dollars annually.
But what sort of eatery does it classify as? Is it a regular restaurant or fast-food? Is it both? Read on to find out the answers to these and much more!
Is Chick-Fil-A Fast-Food In 2023?
Chick-Fil-A is a fast-food restaurant with elements of fast-casual as of 2023. It has the hallmarks of a fast-food-small menu, typical fast-food products, heavy advertising, and franchise operations. However, its food’s premium quality and pricey resonate with fast-casual. The company itself finds the need for designation distracting from its core mission to provide quality meals.
To find out more about the nature of Chick-Fil-A, the quality of its food and service, and why it is considered the best fast-food, keep on reading!
What Is Chick-Fil-A Classified As?
Chick-Fil-A is classified as a fast-food restaurant. That said, its business model is organized around being able to prepare and serve food fast so that patrons don’t wait too long in line.
Also, the company is operated as a franchise, though it retains ownership of over 2,700 outlets countrywide.
Further, each of these franchises operates from the same manual so that the products and services are standardized.
Moreover, the core product is the chicken sandwich alongside fried chicken nuggets and strips.
Additionally, there is a small selection of sides, salads, breakfast items, beverages, and desserts to make the process efficient.
Does Chick-Fil-A Have Elements Of Fast-Casual Restaurants?
Fast-casual restaurants occupy the midway between full-service dining and fast dining, offering features from both.
Therefore, the food may be Fast-food type but of higher quality, and it may offer a mixture of counter ordering and table service.
Moreover, Chick-Fil-A offers typical fast-food fare-breakfast meals of biscuits, dinner meals with chicken-based entrees with sides, desserts, and beverages.
However, unlike typical fast-food restaurants, Chick-Fil-A offers high-quality food to ensure freshness, safety, and nutrition. Also, the prices are commensurately high.
On top of that, some Chick-Fil-A locations offer table dining, where customer pick up their orders from the counter and then sit down.
So, if customers can upstream their order through the Chick-Fil-A mobile app, and then when they get to their table at the restaurant, an employee will bring it out to them.
Overall, Chick-Fil-A is a fast-food restaurant, but with significant elements of a fast-casual restaurant.
Is Chick-Fil-A’s Fast-Food Junk Food?
Most of Chick-Fil-A’s foods can be classified as junk foods.
Overall, fast food is often accused of being junk food, high in calories but low on the essential nutrients the body needs while being unsatisfying at the same time.
That said, this may often lead to overindulging, which is worse as junk food replaces our need for wholesome meals.
High cholesterol, sodium, and sugar levels that seem to be staple ingredients of junk food significantly contribute to lifestyle diseases approaching pandemic levels.
Also, a popular Chick-Fil-A meal, the fried chicken sandwich with a side of waffle fries and the Chick-Fil-A sauce and a beverage of choice, contains the following nutritional information.
In total, this meal contains 1,000 calories, 54g of total fats, 10g of saturated fats, 80mg of cholesterol, 1820mg of sodium, 13g of sugars, and 34g of protein.
Although it is delicious, it is dangerous if consumed daily. The trouble, though, is that the high levels of sodium and sugars are intended to be addictive, so you keep coming back for more.
Is Chick-Fil-A The Biggest Fast-Food Restaurant?
With over 2,790 restaurants, Chick-Fil-A is the highest-grossing chicken fast-food restaurant in the United States, with annual revenue of $11 billion.
Also, it is a position it has held on to after beating KFC, which comes in second with annual sales worth over $4 billion.
Further, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen comes in third with $3.8 billion a year.
Then, Zaxby’s and Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers come in fourth and fifth with $1.8 billion and $1.4 billion, respectively.
Why Is Chick-Fil-A Considered The Best Fast-Food Restaurant?
Chick-Fil-A is a multiple-time winner of the America Customer Satisfaction Index awards, beating a range of full-service and quick-service competitors with a score of 83 out of 100.
That said, the America Customer Satisfaction Index measures an establishment’s cleanliness, food quality, level of customer service support, and mobile app reliability.
Moreover, the multiple wins are no surprise since Chick-Fil-A is legendary for its food and customer service.
Remember, the restaurant only makes its food from fresh and wholesome ingredients.
For example, it buys its potatoes from the Johnson family farm along the Columbia River basin for their unique taste.
Also, its vegetables and fruits are delivered daily and prepared to order to always be fresh.
Further, the chicken dishes are prepared from chicken delivered several times a week to ensure freshness.
What’s more, the staff is super helpful, polite, and genuinely enthusiastic, and however long the lines are, there are mechanisms to reduce the wait times.
Lastly, the other fast-food restaurants reaching the top five are Domino’s, KFC, Starbucks, and Five Guys.
Does It Matter If Chick-Fil-A Is Fast-Food Or Not?
Chick-Fil-A’s opinion is that the need to classify it as one or the other is unnecessary and distracts it from its core mission: to serve premium food to its customers.
So, as long as the food is excellent and is served quickly by great staff, the classification may be irrelevant to the customer.
After all, Chick-Fil-A already provides seats in dining, counter service, drive-through, and delivery services, so the customer gets their food conveniently.
However, it makes all the difference to a potential investor, as each designation’s requirements are different when investing.
To know more, you can also see our posts on what is Chick-Fil-A Polynesian sauce, does Chick-Fil-A sells cookies, and what does Chick-Fil-A sauce tastes like.
Chick-Fil-A qualifies as a fast-food restaurant but has modified its business operations to cater to customers whose needs fall between full-service restaurants and fast-food.
Therefore, such customers can enjoy a fast-food menu with a dining-in experience.