Why Is Chick-Fil-A So Expensive? (11 Reasons Why)

You can expect delectable meals and exceptional beyond the call of duty customer service at Chick-Fil-A. Just don’t count on a cheap meal.

It is no wonder then Chick-Fil-A’s target customer is a financially comfortable suburban American. But, what’s with the high prices? Stay on and find out why!

Why Is Chick-Fil-A So Expensive In [currentyear]?

Chick-Fil-A’s higher than average prices can be attributed to the product quality and customer care as of [currentyear]. A Chick-Fil-A sandwich is built with only prime ingredients, which come at a premium. The outstanding customer service is also the result of extensive training of Chick-Fil-A partners is expensive, and customers pay for that in their meals.

Read on to learn more about Chick-Fil-A’s higher than average prices and whether they are justified!

Why Does Chick-Fil-A Charge More For Its Meals?

People everywhere are noticing Chick-Fil-A’s prices, so here are 11 reasons Chick-Fil-A meals are expensive!

1. Fresh Ingredients

Chick-Fil-A takes great care that it only uses fresh ingredients in its meals, and the results are evident for all to see, as the foods are juicy, crisp, flavorful, and above all, very healthy.

Also, the salads are always prepared to order throughout the day so that customers get it fresh and no food is left over. That said, the same goes for lemonade and other fruit preparations.

Further, the fruits and vegetables are delivered daily from Monday to Saturday, so there is little need for preservation.

Not even the chicken is frozen. Instead, it is delivered several times a week so that it gets to the cook fresh.

Indeed, Chick-Fil-A keeps its menu lean and uses a small number of ingredients to control the quality of the ingredients in this manner.

As you can imagine, fresh food is more costly to procure and maintain, so food made from fresh produce often costs more.

2. Organic Supplies

Chemicals, hormones, and steroids help poultry grow faster and bigger, which helps bring costs down. However, Chick-Fil-A chicken has none of that.

Instead, the restaurant has been moving away from poultry reared or preserved using such backhanded means. 

With that, Chick-Fil-A picks its suppliers carefully and consistently tracks them to ensure there is no drop in established standards.

Similarly, Chick-Fil-A ensures that its fruits and vegetables are grown as organic as possible. Also, the restaurant has introduced organic items into its menu.

Further, the company has begun doing away with intentionally added chemicals in its packaging.

All this comes at a hefty cost, and if you eat food that is both delicious and safe, you have to pay extra.

3. Chick-Fil-A Foods Are Specially Sourced

To give you the taste you have come to love time after time, Chick-Fil-A has to maintain consistency in where it sources its ingredients.

If need be, the company has to pay extra and does pay extra to lock down the suppliers who sustain the taste to which you have become used.

For example, the restaurant prefers white chicken meat to any other, which is in higher demand and therefore pricier.

Also, the restaurant sources potatoes for its waffles from Washington because the minerals there give them a unique taste.

Moreover, Sunkist supplies the lemons for your lemonade and spicing for your fried chicken, and in fact, Chick-Fil-A is Sunkist’s biggest customer.

4. More Employees

4. More Employees Chick-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A is a popular restaurant, and lines around the building are normal.

If these lines result in longer wait times, it could turn away many customers, so Chick-Fil-A has invested heavily in its employees to avoid this.

For example, all Chick-Fil-A locations need employees to take and give over orders, regulate the traffic, and even take payment.

Also, since most items are handmade or made to order, the restaurant needs a sufficient workforce to maintain both speed and quality.

Further, most people come to Chick-Fil-A for the quality of its food and customer service and have to pay for it.

5. Chick-Fil-A’s Unlimited Sauces

Chick-Fil-A does not like scrimping on its sauces, but they do not come cheap.

With that, customers can always request more than a single helping of any of Chick-Fil-A’s variety of sauces, which include the following:

  • Chick-Fil-A sauce
  • Polynesian sauce
  • Honey Mustard sauce
  • Garden Herb Ranch sauce
  • Zesty Buffalo sauce
  • Barbeque sauce
  • Sweet & Spicy Sriracha sauce
  • Honey Roasted BBQ

Though customers are not charged directly for the sauces, the cost is incorporated into the meal price, so you end up paying more.

6. Customer Service

Chick-Fil-A has been named time after time as leading in customer satisfaction indices among fast-food restaurants.

With that, the restaurant’s customer care goes way beyond intoning ‘my pleasure’ at the end of every transaction.

On top of that, Chick-Fil-A tries to give every customer an experience they won’t get enough of.

So, every person who applies for a Chick-Fil-A franchise goes through a rigorous application process and extensive training.

As you can see, this is an investment on Chick-Fil-A’s part that pays back at higher prices.

7. High Demand

It is a fact of economics that prices rise or fall relative to the forces of demand and supply.

First, Chick-Fil-A sources premium ingredients for its food items, for which it must compete with other players in the industry.

Therefore, the restaurant has to pay the appropriate price to secure them, eventually passing them on to you.

8. No Work Sundays

Chick-Fil-A loses approximately $1 billion on all the Sundays it closes per year, which it must recover somehow if it is to turn a profit consistently.

Consequently, the higher than average prices that customers pay help cover this.

9. The Cost Of Opening New Chick-Fil-As

All a new Chick-Fil-A operator has to pay for their new outlet is $10,000 even though the real cost is around $330,000 (the company covers the rest).

Moreover, this equity gives it control over the customer experience you get to be consistent with the Chick-Fil-A you visit, and the cost eventually leaks down to the customer.

10. Added Services

Sometimes Chick-Fil-A prices are high because of the markup on added services.

For instance, though the company claims to charge a delivery fee of $3, the prices on items selected for delivery come up higher than indicated for pickup.

However, this has been the source of controversy and even lawsuits.

11. Charitable Causes

Even though corporates like Chick-Fil-A are expected to donate from their profits and the customer ought not to pay for it, the reality is different.

For example, a 2010 research study discovered that donations are always covered in the product price, which drives up the price.

To find out more, you can also read our posts on why is Chick-Fil-A so popular, does Chick-Fil-A serve lunch all day, and does Chick-Fil-A open on Sundays.


Chick-Fil-A’s prices are higher than average, but in most cases, they are justified. For example, the product quality and level of customer care warrant the prices.

Other reasons for the high prices, such as the recovery of lost sales on Sunday and low costs of opening new outlets, are put in place to keep the business running and avoid losses.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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