ATLANTA Sales at Chick-fil-A will surpass the $3 billion mark in 2009, the company said Thursday, aided by 80 new locations opened during the year and a focus on customer-driving marketing efforts.
The milestone comes nine years after the 1,485-unit chain recorded its first $1 billion in sales and three years after hitting the $2 billion mark. Chick-fil-A officials added that the chain is about to post its 42nd consecutive year of annual sales growth, a distinction it has held since 1967.
Dan Cathy, president and chief operating officer, said much of the reason for Chick-fil-A’s positive performance is because of its customers’ continued loyalty to the brand.
“Our customers truly define our growth and projection trends,” Cathy said. “Their loyalty is most evident by the fact that we determine our new store expansion projections each year based on our sales performance.”
Chick-fil-A would have opened a total of 80 restaurants by the end of this year, and reinvested in 65 of its older units, it said.
Sales-driving initiatives this year included:
- Asystemwide giveaway of a Chick-fil-A Chicken Biscuit on New Year’s Day
- The spring rollout of a limited-time flavor Peach Hand-Spun Milkshake
- July’s “Cow Appreciation Day,” which celebrated the chain’s popular Chick-fil-A “Eat Mor Chikin” and included a free Chick-fil-A Meal for customers who visited any of the participating restaurants fully dressed as a cow.
- A Labor Day celebration and football season kickoff that offered a free chicken sandwich to any customers wearing any sports-related apparel.
Chick-fil-A’s growth spurt has led at least one analyst to speculate that the chain could surpass segment leader KFC in the future, as that Yum! Brands chain has seen negative sales trends and reduced unit counts.