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Why Chick-fil-A's only competitor is McDonald's


Chick-fil-A generated $21.58 billion in sales in 2023, a 14.7% increase over 2022’s $18.81 billion and over 43% over 2021’s $15 billion. According to new data from Technomic Ignite, the chain has essentially doubled its total sales volume since 2018.

In the process, the company has also continued to gain market share in an intensely competitive QSR chicken category. 

As Chick-fil-A’s consistent growth remains a major narrative, it’s worth mentioning that its competition extends far beyond the QSR chicken category. Indeed, Kalinowski Equity Research noted all the way back in 2018 that Chick-fil-A’s biggest competitor is McDonald’s and it’s no wonder why the Golden Arches and seemingly every other QSR concept (and beyond) have since ignited a chicken sandwich war replicating the Atlanta-based chain’s signature product.

Fast forward to now and this competitive set remains just as broad. Chick-fil-A released its latest Franchisee Disclosure Document this week, showing that the chain’s average unit volumes for non-mall locations in 2023 reached a record $9.3 million – an 8.1% increase over the previous record, $8.67 million, reached in 2022.

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