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Chick Fil A International Expansion Challenges Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
2202 1597 Words (6 Pages) Bertrand Guillotin Ivey Publishing : W20190
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Chick-Fil-A started as a small convenience food outlet in 1946 named Dwarf Grill. The restaurant chain has now grown to become a $1.6 billion empire (Daszkowski, 2019). The corporation is among the biggest fast-food chains in the US, ranking number three just behind McDonald’s and Starbucks. The success story of the chain is ingrained in the good quality food and a corporate culture that is wholesome and friendly, giving customers a personalized feel. Though the focus on family values, as well as the strong religious leanings of the owners, has been a source of trouble for the chain. This is apparent in the failure of the fast-food chain to make a successful transition into the international market despite its strong position within the US. Chick-Fil-A’s international presence, or lack thereof, is a huge issue that can impact its ability to compete with other fast-food outlets that have a well-established brand in the US and overseas.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. Introduction

  2. Problem Statement

  3. SWOT Analysis

  4. Global Perspective

  5. Recommendation

  6. Conclusion

Case Analysis for Chick Fil A International Expansion Challenges

This case study covers the evolution of Chick-Fil-A from a small, family-owned diner to a massive chain known for its sandwiches. While the quality of the products and the service offered remains top-notch, it is the religious devotions of the owners that has been a source of controversy for the business. Currently, the brand is focused upon expanding into the overseas market, however the controversy surrounding the owners’ views on the LGBTQ community has come under fire to the extent that business has suffered. I will explore possible solutions to the issue which has prevented Chick-Fil-A to successfully break into markets outside the US.

2. Problem Statement

Chick-Fi-A is aiming for a worldwide expansion and has endeavors to open up branches outside of the US. It, however, faces an uphill battle due to the recent social movements in favor of the LGBTQ community since the chain remains deeply controlled by the Cathy family. The family are devotedly Catholic and their faith impacts every aspect of their lives, even their business ventures.

3. SWOT Analysis

In order to develop a strategy for international expansion, Chick-Fil-A needs to assess its strengths and weaknesses as well as the threats and the opportunities engendered in the external environment. This will enable the fast-food chain to harness its strengths and counter the weaknesses and threats that may impede the company’s expansion plans globally.

i. Strengths

Chick-Fil-A’s major strength is the good quality food the chain offers. Its sandwiches and waffle fries are its most popular item. The fast-food chain prides itself on making fresh biscuits every day and offers healthy options, in the form of salads, as well (Chick-Fil-A, 2018).  Another unique feature that makes Chick-Fil-A different from its competitors is the corporate culture rooted in family values. The company remains a family-owned business despite being a multibillionaire business. The company’s founder, Truett Cathy, even made his children sign a contract to never make Chick-Fil-A public company (Taylor, 2016). The strong values held by the Cathy family are apparent in the corporate culture of the company, with employees demonstrating a happy attitude towards the customers. Even the employees are kept happy and are encouraged to treat colleagues as family. Part-timers are eligible for scholarships after working for the chain for two years and all employees at every Chick-Fil-A outlet get Sundays off and are encouraged to spend the time with their family. These core values make Chick-Fil-A a more wholesome and laid-back fast-food chain compared to others.

ii. Weakness

On the flip side, the implementation of strong personal beliefs and values upon staff and franchise owners has its drawback, especially recently. The leadership’s stance on the LGBTQ community, in particular, has been a source of controversy. This inability to be flexible and inclusive is a huge problem which is only going to hurt the company in the future. While the company does have the support of the people who share the same values, being a polarizing figure in the business is never good for a company. This is especially true when competitors are increasingly embracing the change and are becoming more inclusive (Ball, 2019). Politicizing a fast-food chain is also not beneficial since individuals go to eat in order to have a good time and not to be reminded about social issues that plague society.

iii. Opportunities

There are plenty of opportunities as Chick-Fil-A can provide its signature sandwiches in other countries where fast-food chains like McDonald’s’ and KFC already have a well-established presence. Chicken is eaten everywhere and the company can tap into new, expanding markets to profit from the trend. China, in particular, is a huge market where dietary trends are fast evolving in favor of more Western-style, convenience food (Yuan, Seale Jr, Wahl, & Bai, 2019). Chick-Fil-A has much more opportunities to grow in markets outside the US, which is already highly saturated.

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