Chick-Fil-A is one of the most profitable fast-food restaurant companies, making up to $4 million a year in a single outlet.
As you can imagine, this is attractive news to any investor wishing to dabble in the fast-food sector. But, can you buy the company’s shares on the stock exchange? Read on to find out what I discovered!
Is Chick-Fil-A Publicly Traded In 2023?
Chick-Fil-A does not trade publicly as of 2023. The family members who own the company contract are bound never to let it go public. Chick-Fil-A has remained private so that the owners can retain control over the religious precepts upon which the company was founded. The only way to own it is by buying a franchise.
Stay with me to learn more about why Chick-Fil-A does not trade publicly, the company’s ownership structure, and how you may invest in the company!
Is Chick-Fil-A Publicly Traded?
Chick-Fil-A stocks are not available to trade publicly since the company is privately owned, which is unfortunate as the company is very profitable.
That said, the company rakes in about $5 billion annually and expands rapidly throughout the United States with over 2,300 outlets.
Further, a solid product and excellent customer service fuel Chick Fil A’s growth and have carved a diehard market share for it.
However, if the company were to trade publicly, shares would not cost less than $90 a piece, and an IPO would be guaranteed to fetch a considerable amount.
Still, attractive as the company’s stock prospects are for the investor, they remain a fantasy for the moment and in the near future.
Why Isn’t Chick-Fil-A Trading Its Stocks Publicly?
The company is not currently trading its stocks on the stock market and intends for that to never happen because of a few reasons.
First off, the current Chick-Fil-A owner received the company as an inheritance under the condition that the company would never leave the family’s control.
Clearly, an IPO would be an obvious violation of that condition.
Additionally, the owner runs Chick-Fil-A under strong Christian principles, some of which are pretty controversial.
For example, all Chick-Fil-A restaurants close on Sundays, and the company holds traditional views on LGBTQ+ relationships.
So, if the company were to go public, the owners’ voice on these issues would lose influence on the company policy.
As previously mentioned, Chick-Fil-A is a family-run business, and going public would undermine the intention to main the profitable status quo.
Finally, Chick-Fil-A has been experiencing steady growth for several years, and it’s estimated it will incur annual revenues of $30 billion.
So, the owners figure they are better off staying in control.
What Is Chick-Fil-A’s Ownership Structure?
Chick-Fil-A is a privately owned company, with almost all the shares held by family members.
Therefore, they control policy and operational decisions and don’t need to worry about shareholder expectations. Also, they have control over access to company records.
So, the only possible check on their authority is the law and the financial bottom line.
Operationally, the individual outlets are managed as franchises but under a system in which the company retains substantial control.
With that, the franchisee only pays a fee of $10,000, and Chick-Fil-A takes care of the rest.
In exchange, the company retains control over the building site, how many outlets to build, and how the franchise does business.
As you can see, all these are factors a potential investor must bear in mind.
Will Chick-Fil-A Ever Issue An IPO?
Currently, the company owners have no intention or need to cede control to outside investors. Nonetheless, would this situation ever change, and under what circumstances would it?
Typically, companies go public to raise and secure easy access to capital, which funds an expansion, increases the company’s value, or pays off early investors who wish to quit.
As noted before, none of these apply to Chick-Fil-A and its owners because they are bound by contract to retain control of the company, and they have enough capital to fund expansion.
However, Chick-Fil-A’s founder created perpetuities over the company that do not last forever under Succession law.
Eventually, the owners will be free to go public. Despite this, potential stock investors would be ill-advised to hold their breath.
Furthermore, in a dynamically unpredictable world, circumstances may emerge that necessitate that Chick-Fil-A goes public to raise funds if it is to survive.
More practically, subsequent generations may not have the same attachment their ancestors had to the company and may decide to go public to avoid day-to-day management concerns.
How Else Can I Invest In Chick-Fil-A?
The only way to invest in Chick-Fil-A is to buy a franchise. Fortunately, the company’s franchises are some of the most affordable, costing only $10,000.
After that, Chick-Fil-A takes care of all the other costs, often running into almost $500,000. Besides this, your investment is virtually guaranteed to turn a profit.
Typically, the restaurant’s outlets make as much as $4,000,000 a year, and the owner can look forward to a $100,000 a year income.
However, the application procedure is rigorous, and less than 100 succeed out of the thousands that apply for franchises every year.
Then, the new owner has to be ready to conform to the religious beliefs of the company’s owners.
Further, the company retains substantial control over the enterprise. It decides where to build, how many locations it can open in an area and some aspects of operations.
Also, Chick-Fil-A retains ownership of the location and equipment, which it rents back to you at 15% of what you make plus a further percentage of gross earnings.
Other Than Chick-Fil-A, What Other Stocks Can I Invest In?
There are plenty of alternative investment destinations for those bent on fast-food industry stocks.
For example, the following fast-food companies’ stocks have been performing well and are worth a try:
- Chipotle Mexican Grill
- Domino’s Pizza
- Shake Shack
- Kyochon F&B
- Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
- El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc
- Wingstop, Inc
- Buffalo Wild Wings (Diversified Restaurant Holdings)
Surprisingly, Chick-Fil-A does not trade publicly, so one cannot invest in its stocks. Instead, the company is privately owned and has no intention of ever going public.
Therefore, the only way to invest in the fast-food restaurant chain is by buying a franchise. Otherwise, one has to contend with investing in the stocks of other fast-food restaurant chains.