Chick-fil-A: A Bird of a Different Feather
This case is used in Darden's EMBA and Global EMBA programs. It works well in any course covering short- and long-term strategic issues for a privately held firm experiencing strong growth. In 2011, sales at Chick-fil-A (CFA)surpassed $4 billion; however due to ownership's aversion to debt, the pace of expansion was significantly slower than the fast-food-segment average. Also, the biggest differences between CFA and other fast-food chains were its private, family-controlled ownership structure and its management philosophy. This case explores the relationship between an enterprise's philosophy and its long-term viability.