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The Chick-fil-A Covenant: Why the Beloved Chain Will Stay Closed on Sundays

08-14-2019
(Image credit: Chick-fil-A)
(Image credit: Chick-fil-A)

Chick-fil-A is famous not only for its chicken but also for being closed on Sundays. And it looks like even with all of the success the company has enjoyed in recent years, that's not going to change – ever. 

Dan Cathy, who took the reins of the company as CEO in 2013, wrote a covenant along with his brother and sister back in 2000, promising to be faithful to Christ's lordship in their lives. The document specifically includes a vow to not open the restaurant on Sundays.

According to Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy's book, Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People, the covenant also reads:

"We will be faithful to Christ's lordship in our lives. As committed Christians, we will live a life of selfless devotion to His calling in our lives."

"We will prayerfully seek His leadership in all major decisions that impact our family and others. Our family roles as spouses to our lifelong mates, parents to our children, and loving aunts and uncles will be our priority," it continued. 

The covenant also promises to continue Chick-fil-A's history of philanthropic work and to grow conservatively, never taking the company public, according to the Business Insider.

Entrepreneur.com reported the company is potentially giving up an estimated $1 billion in additional sales by being closed on Sunday. However, supporters say it's a brilliant business strategy for success. 

Despite being closed one day a week, Chick-fil-A earned $10.46 billion in US sales in 2018. 

"Although McDonald's does not disclose traffic by day, there is evidence that the weekends are particularly busy, which means that it may post 15% of its sales on Sunday," according to 24/7 Wall Street. "If Chick-fil-A has a similar traffic pattern, Sundays could bring in sales of at least $1.2 billion."

Still, the company has managed to generate more than double the sales revenue of McDonald's, all while honoring the Lord's day. 

By remaining closed on Sunday, the restaurant resonates with its customers.

"They don't shy away from being family-focused, and they don't shy away from being mission-driven," Adam Chandler, who wrote "Drive-Thru Dreams: A Journey Through the Heart of America's Fast-Food Kingdom," told Business Insider. "If there's one thing that everybody knows about Chick-fil-A, it is that it is closed on Sunday."

Chick-fil-A's approach to business is not going to change its model anytime soon. Employees are happy with management, at least according to outside research. Glassdoor listed it as one of the 100 best places to work in 2017, according to 24/7 Wall Street.

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