After much thought and research into different companies, I decided to write about Chick-Fil-A for Paper 2. Chick-Fil-A is a very interesting company when looking at them through the lens of business ethics. They have very visibly different strengths and weaknesses regarding business ethics.
Although they are expanding their locations, they remain very southern company. Their company culture and basis for business decisions follow Christian ideals, and they are not shy about voicing these opinions. For example, Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sunday’s purely for their employees to go to Church.
Their CEO, Dan Cathy, voiced his opinions on same sex marriage to stir a large debate. In 2012 Chick-Fil-A underwent intense scrutiny for Cathy’s unapologetic words. The news went viral and many consumers looked at Chick-Fil-A differently. Protestors including LGBT members began to show up to various Chick-Fil-A locations to irritate CEO, Dan Cathy.
At the same time, supporters of Cathy and his voiced beliefs created Chick-Fil-A Appreciation day, which became a huge success. The picture below shows the line of people out the door at a location on Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day.
Ultimately, the protestors’ plan backfired as they brought more business to Chick-Fil-A, which allowed the company to see sales soar 12% in 2012 (Huffington Post).
This interesting mix of religion and business has clearly led to some tough times for Chick-Fil-A, and I think it would make a great Paper 2 to dive deeper into this topic.
On another note, Chick-Fil-A’s dedication to environmental sustainability is an interesting contrast to their social ideology. Following their Christian beliefs, Chick-Fil-A writes in their Corporate Purpose that they “will be a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to them”, referring to their environmental footprint. They are the first of their kind to open a LEED Gold restaurant in Texas. Innovative practices like these in terms of environmental awareness set Chick-Fil-A apart from other companies.
The contrast of strong environmental sustainability standards with weak social values is very interesting from a business perspective, and I want to further research this topic in Paper 2.
Salbu, Steve. “Let Chick-fil-A Fly Free.” New York Times 2 Aug. 2012: A21(L). Global Issues In Context. Web. 6 Nov. 2014.
Used Hoover’s search of Chick-Fil-A for company information