A breaded, boneless chicken breast between two buttered buns served with a friendly smile is what you can expect during a typical Chick-Fil-A visit. Home to “The Original Chicken Sandwich”, Chick-Fil-A is among the most successful fast-food chains in the US. According to QSR Magazine, Chick-Fil-A is now the eighth largest fast-food chain in the US by sales and generates more revenue per restaurant than any other chain nationally. That’s more than McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King. So why isn’t this beloved chain in the UK?
If Chick-Fil-A moved to the UK there are several important elements that would need to be considered to determine if the fried chicken and waffle fries outweigh the costs and risk.
Some key legal differences between the US and UK could potentially influence the success of Chick-Fil-A. This includes use of specific chemicals, methods of food preservation and labeling requirements. Although there are several food preparation laws that differ from the United Kingdom and United States, the success of chicken restaurants, such as KFC, indicate that regardless of this difference, Chick-Fil-A could still be widely successful.
There are also several cultural differences between the United States and the United Kingdom that could present challenges in opening a Chick-Fil-A in the UK.
One potential obstacle that may exist in the expansion of Chick-Fil-A is the existing menu. The beloved menu of Chick-Fil-A caters well to customers in the United States, however, some components of the menu may need to be reconsidered in order to best fit new customers in the UK. Currently Sweet Tea is one of the most coveted beverages and attractions on the menu. This Southern Sweet Tea fancies well with US customers of the south, however, this tea isn’t exactly what British customers will be looking for when they order tea. That is why revising some minor components of the menu would be necessary to meet the cultural needs in a potential expansion.
Another aspect of the menu that should potentially be revised is including alcoholic beverages. The drinking culture of the UK is much different than that of the US. Alcohol is a very important part of British culture and is especially important in social situations. The drinking culture in the United Kingdom is more relaxed than the drinking culture in the United States. Because drinking is an important part of culture in the UK, offering beer, wine and cider will appeal to many customers.
When comparing Chick-Fil-A to competitors, such as KFC and Nando’s, there are many factors that differentiate Chick-Fil-A. While Nando’s main product is chicken, their prices are almost around twice that of Chick-Fil-A’s. And the quality of Chick-Fil-A surely beats that of KFC. Chick-Fil-A’s target population is directed at the common middle class who want high quality food in a fast-food setting. Chick-Fil-A’s emphasis on quality and customer service sets them apart from competitors in order to successfully reach their target market.
Chick-Fil-A has the capacity to be widely successful in the UK. In addition, Chick-Fil-A charges its franchisees only $10,000 to open a new restaurant and does not require its candidates to meet a threshold for net worth or liquid assets. This is cheaper than every other major fast-food chain in the US. For example, McDonald’s requires potential franchisees to pay between $955,708 and $2.3 million in startup costs. This includes a $45,000 franchise fee as well as at least $750,000 in liquid assets. However, Chick-Fil-A pays for all startup costs, including real estate, restaurant construction and equipment.
As Chick-Fil-A’s mascot says, “Eat Mor Chikin” and the UK should do this by welcoming Chick-Fil-A.