26 Fun Facts About Chick-fil-A: Unveiling Their Secret Menu

chick-fil-A restaurant at night

26 Fun Facts About Chick-fil-A: Unveiling Their Secret Menu

  1. The chain fries its chicken in 100% refined peanut oil.
  2. Chick-fil-A has never gone public, remaining a family-owned business.
  3. When it launched, the company’s mobile app hit #1 in the Apple App Store.
  4. A Texas Chick-fil-A broke the record for drive-thru sales in one hour.
  5. Chick-fil-A’s grilled nuggets took over seven years to perfect.
  6. Some locations have Mom’s Valet, a service to help parents with young kids.
  7. Chick-fil-A has over 2,600 locations in the United States.
  8. Chick-fil-A is one of the largest purchasers of Sunkist lemons.
  1. Some restaurants offer reservation-only romantic dinners on Valentine’s Day.
  2. Chick-fil-A has a Frosted beverage line, blending ice cream and drinks.
  3. The chain has an exclusive coffee blend made by THRIVE Farm.
  4. The chicken sandwich recipe hasn’t changed since it was created in 1964.
  5. The waffle fries are made from potatoes cut with a specialized slicer.
  6. The first true Chick-fil-A restaurant was in Atlanta’s Greenbriar Mall in 1967.
  7. The company holds an annual seminar for operators and managers.
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1. The original Chick-fil-A was a diner called Dwarf Grill.

The original Chick-fil-A wasn’t a fast-food joint but a cozy diner named Dwarf Grill. Opened in 1946 by founder S. Truett Cathy, this Hapeville, Georgia, eatery was a local hit.

It was so small that the name “Dwarf Grill” seemed fitting. Over time, the success of Dwarf Grill paved the way for what we now know as Chick-fil-A.

2. S. Truett Cathy was selling Coca-Cola door-to-door before entering the restaurant business.

Before becoming a fast-food pioneer, S. Truett Cathy had a hustle selling Coca-Cola door-to-door. That’s right, the Chick-fil-A founder started off as a Coca-Cola salesman. This early experience in sales and customer interaction gave him essential skills. 

These skills later proved invaluable when he entered the restaurant business and created the Chick-fil-A brand.

3. Chick-fil-A invented the chicken sandwich.

Believe it or not, Chick-fil-A takes the credit for inventing the chicken sandwich. In 1964, S. Truett Cathy cooked up the idea of a boneless chicken breast sandwich. Before this, fast food was all about burgers and fries. 

The simple yet tasty chicken sandwich changed the game and became the cornerstone of the Chick-fil-A menu.

4. Chick-fil-A’s franchise fee is only $10,000, which is relatively low for the industry.

a building and some car in front : Fun Facts About Chick-fil-A
Chick-fil-A: Franchise for $10k.

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Dreaming of owning a Chick-fil-A? The good news the franchise fee is just $10,000. In the fast-food world, this is a steal, as many franchises charge upward of $45,000 for the initial fee. But there’s a catch: Chick-fil-A is extremely selective, accepting less than 1% of applicants. 

So, while the low cost makes entry seem easier, getting your foot in the door is highly competitive.

5. All Chick-fil-A restaurants are closed on Sundays.

Ever crave Chick-fil-A on a Sunday only to remember they’re closed? You’re not alone. Chick-fil-A stands apart by shutting its doors every Sunday. 

This tradition started with founder S. Truett Cathy, a devout Christian. Even with one less day to make money, the chain still leads in per-restaurant sales compared to other fast-food giants.

6. The first 100 customers at new locations often get free Chick-fil-A for a year.

Imagine getting free Chick-fil-A for an entire year. Sounds like a dream, right? It’s a reality for the first 100 customers at new Chick-fil-A openings. 

Called the First 100, this promotion has people camping out just for the chance at a year’s worth of those irresistible chicken sandwiches and waffle fries.

7. Cow Appreciation Day lets customers dress like cows for free food.

Ever wanted to dress like a cow and get rewarded for it? Chick-fil-A makes it possible with their Cow Appreciation Day. 

Customers who show up in cow attire get free food on this special day. In 2022, for example, you could snag a free sandwich just for joining in the bovine fun.

8. Chick-fil-A’s Lemonade uses 250 million lemons a year.

chick-fil-A cup of lemonade
Chick-fil-A A Squeezes 250 Million Lemons Annually.

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Think you drink a lot of lemonade? Chick-fil-A has you beat. The chain uses a staggering 250 million lemons annually just for their lemonade. It’s freshly squeezed and mixed with water and sugar, adhering to a simple but beloved recipe. 

This massive lemon usage places them among the top lemon buyers in the entire world.

9. The A in Chick-fil-A stands for Grade-A quality.

The “A” in Chick-fil-A isn’t merely decorative; it signifies Grade-A quality. This underlines the brand’s unwavering focus on delivering premium chicken items. 

The alphabet in the name serves dual purposes: branding and a promise of quality.

10. The Spicy Chicken Sandwich took seven years to develop.

Developing Chick-fil-A’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich was no quick feat; it took seven years. The chain was meticulous, gathering customer input and fine-tuning the blend of spices. 

It’s a sandwich that was carefully crafted over time, now a beloved item on their menu.

11. Chick-fil-A has its own thrift store for employees.

Did you know that Chick-fil-A operates a thrift store specifically for its employees? This unique benefit allows staff to purchase gently-used uniforms and other essentials at discounted rates. 

It’s just one way the company looks after itself, going beyond the usual employee perks.

12. The chain is located in 47 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.

A brown building and flag
Chick-fil-A Across 47 States and DC.

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Chick-fil-A’s domestic presence is robust, covering 47 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. Internationally, they’ve set up 11 stores in Canada and are now eyeing the UK for future growth. After a failed Canadian expansion in 1994, they seem to have found a better strategy. 

With a UK launch slated for 2025 and plans to open five UK locations in just two years, Chick-fil-A is investing $100 million over the next decade to increase its global reach.

13. The chain uses nearly 5,000 pressure fryers company-wide.

Chick-fil-A deploys close to 5,000 pressure fryers across its locations. These aren’t just any fryers; they’re specialized equipment crucial for that signature Chick-fil-A taste. 

This significant investment in kitchen technology ensures a consistent and high-quality chicken sandwich no matter which location you visit.

14. Each restaurant donates unsold food to local charities.

Reducing waste and giving back to the community go hand-in-hand at Chick-fil-A. Unsold food doesn’t go to waste; it’s donated to local charities. 

This practice aligns with the company’s values and ensures that the food serves a greater purpose, benefiting those in need.

15. It’s one of the few fast-food chains to hand-bread its chicken.

Chick-fil-A is unique because it’s one of the few fast-food chains that hand-breads its chicken right on-site. This attention to detail is part of what makes the chain a favorite for many people.

When you eat there, you’re not just getting fast food; you’re getting a meal that has been prepared with a certain level of craftsmanship.

This focus on quality, along with their unique menu items and sourcing practices, sets Chick-fil-A apart in a crowded industry.

16. Does Chick-fil-A have a secret menu?

Secret Menu at Chick-fil-A.

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Contrary to popular belief, Chick-fil-A doesn’t officially have a secret menu. According to their official website, they focus on maintaining high standards for their regular offerings and introduce seasonal and limited-time items. 

However, many customers get creative and customize existing menu items to create their own ‘secret’ combinations. While it’s not an official secret menu, this customization offers a personalized dining experience.

17. The original restaurant had only 10 stools and four tables.

S. Truett Cathy and his brother Ben opened their first eatery, a 24-hour diner, in 1946. Located in Hapeville, Georgia, this compact establishment had room for only 10 people at the counter and four small tables.

Due to its tiny size, they named it the Dwarf Grill, later renamed Dwarf House.

18. Chick-fil-A offers behind-the-scenes kitchen tours.

Ever curious about where your Chick-fil-A meal comes from? Some locations offer behind-the-scenes kitchen tours. It’s a chance to see the preparation process and perhaps gain a greater appreciation for the effort that goes into creating each dish. 

It’s a rare opportunity in the fast-food industry, setting Chick-fil-A apart from its competitors.

19. There’s a Chick-fil-A “Dwarf House” with a full-service menu.

A special Chick-fil-A location, the “Dwarf House” offers more than just the standard fast-food menu. Guests can enjoy a full-service dining experience with a broader range of dishes.

It’s like stepping into a parallel Chick-fil-A universe, where the offerings extend beyond chicken sandwiches and waffle fries.

20. The company has a three-story test kitchen for menu development.

A three storey building
Chick-fil-A’s Three-Story Lab for Menu Innovation.

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Chick-fil-A takes menu development seriously. They have a three-story test kitchen where new recipes are tried and tested.

This space is dedicated to culinary innovation, ensuring the menu stays fresh and appealing to customers.

21. The company launched its own scholarship program in 1973.

Chick-fil-A has been investing in education since 1973 through its scholarship program. This initiative supports employees in pursuing higher education, emphasizing the company’s commitment to its team members’ personal and professional growth.

22. Who invented Chick-fil-A sauce? 

Chick-fil-A sauce was created by a store operator named Hugh Fleming. He accidentally mixed honey mustard and barbecue sauce, which became a hit. It’s now a staple on the menu.

23. Chick-fil-A owns the Hawaiian-themed fast-food chain Truett’s Luau.

Chick-fil-A has a Hawaiian-themed sister restaurant called Truett’s Luau. Named after the founder, S. Truett Cathy, the eatery offers a unique Hawaiian and Southern cuisine mix.

It’s a surprising twist from the company known primarily for its chicken.

24. The first drive-thru was introduced in 1967.

chick fil a drive thru
Drive-Thrus Since 1967.

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The concept of drive-thru service is quite common now, but Chick-fil-A was an early adopter. The brand introduced its first drive-thru in 1967, simplifying the fast-food experience for car-bound customers.

25. Employees aren’t allowed to say “you’re welcome” but “my pleasure.”

If you’ve ever wondered why Chick-fil-A employees respond with “my pleasure” instead of “you’re welcome,” it’s by design. 

This distinct phrase is part of the company’s customer service training. The choice of words aims to convey a higher level of service and make each customer interaction more memorable.

26. What is Chick-fil-A sauce?

Chick-fil-A sauce is a special condiment offered by the chain. It’s a creamy mixture of honey mustard, barbecue sauce, and other ingredients. The sauce has become a customer favorite and is often used for dipping fries and chicken.

FAQs

The cost to open a Chick-fil-A franchise is relatively low, with an initial fee of just $10,000. In a unique approach, Chick-fil-A covers the land, building, and necessary equipment expenses. The franchisee then pays rent equal to 15% of the restaurant’s sales, splitting the remaining pretax profits 50/50 with the corporation.

S. Truett Cathy founded Chick-fil-A, originally starting it as the Dwarf Grill on May 23, 1946, in Hapeville, Georgia.

Chick-fil-A usually wraps up its breakfast service at 10:30 a.m., but it’s a good idea to check with your local restaurant as the timing can differ. If you’re craving their breakfast items, it’s best to get there early to avoid missing out.

Chick-fil-A has its corporate headquarters situated in Atlanta, Georgia. This is the central hub where all the major business decisions for the company are made. It’s like the brain of the Chick-fil-A operation, steering the ship from the heart of the Peach State.

Chick-fil-A’s company policy advises employees to graciously decline tips. The employees are trained to offer high-quality service without expecting extra financial rewards. So, save those extra dollars for your next chicken sandwich.Chick-fil-A’s company policy advises employees to graciously decline tips. The employees are trained to offer high-quality service without expecting extra financial rewards. So, save those extra dollars for your next chicken sandwich.

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