How Chick-fil-A passed KFC with less than half of its footprint

March 31, 2014

A week ago, Technomic released its latest data highlighting 2013 restaurant sales. One of the top stories from this data was Chick-fil-A overtaking KFC as the top chicken chain.

According to a news release, chicken chains as a whole grew 5.1 percent. Chick-fil-A grew its sales by 9.3 percent, to $5.1 billion, while KFC turned in about $4.22 billion. This happened despite a significantly smaller footprint — Chick-fil-A has about 1,775 domestic units compared to KFC's 4,491. Also, Chick-fil-A restaurants are closed on Sundays.

Business Week examined some of the factors behind Chick-fil-A's surge in becoming the new chicken king.

"What Chick-fil-A lacks in store count, it makes up for in traffic. Each restaurant made about $3.2 million in 2013, more than three times as much as the average KFC at $938,000," the story said.

And, while KFC's average sales have remained steady throughout the past 10 years, they have climbed year after year at Chick-fil-A. Same-store sales at KFC dropped by 2 percent last year, compared to Chick-fil-A, which experienced a 3.6-percent jump.

Additional drivers for Chick-fil-A include a successful breakfast platform, a slightly higher check and a differentiated menu, Technomic EVP Darren Tristano told Business Week.

Topics: Franchising & Growth , Operations Management , Trends / Statistics

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