A new report says Chick-fil-A is losing more than $1 billion in sales by being closed on Sundays. Its founder and its current CEO, though, likely would disagree.
The company had more than $10 billion in revenue in 2018, with roughly 2,400 restaurants in 47 states and Washington, D.C.
McDonald’s gains an estimated 15 percent of its sales on Sunday, according to a 24/7 Wall Street report in USA Today. If that traffic pattern and percentage were true with Chick-fil-A, then the company could gain at least $1.2 billion in sales by opening Sundays, according to 24/7 Wall Street.
But Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy has previously argued that the company may gain revenue by being closed on Sundays.
"If we can let [employees] kind of take some time off and live and breathe, they come in with a lot more enthusiasm on Monday – plus a little bit more on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” Cathy told Atlanta’s WSB-TV last year. “And it more than offsets -- this defies the accountant's logic, here, I know that – but it more than offsets the fact that we close everything down on Sunday. And it's worked great for us.”
Cathy said he and his siblings signed a covenant with their father – founder Truett Cathy – never to open on Sundays.
“He never liked the idea of asking other people to do that which he was not willing to do himself,” Dan Cathy said.
Before he died, Truett Cathy told The 700 Club that Chick-fil-A makes as much or more in “six days as our competition does in seven days.”
“So that's a good argument that permits us to close on Sunday,” Truett Cathy said.
The company, he said, always has been a little different.
“We see no conflict between biblical principles and good business practice,” Truett Cathy said. “The Bible tells a lot about how to operate our business. We just have to read and apply. So, closing on Sundays was a decision that I made back in 1946 when I opened my first restaurant … After you work 24 hours a day for six days… you need a break.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Tom Pennington/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.