Chick-fil-A has some big plans, including a larger rollout in New York City. According to USA Today, the chicken chain is all about growth in cities these days. It will open 108 locations this year, “most of them urban and a good chunk of them in New York City.” But how will the chain’s conservative, southern values play in ever-progressive New York? That’s the question the chain is facing as it tries to re-position itself in advance of the expansion.
In fact, Chick-fil-A is tackling the issue head-on: The company says it’s starting a very biblical-sounding “cleaning” cycle to overhaul its image. CEO Dan Cathy — whose anti-gay rhetoric created a massive image problem for the company — says he’ll check politics at the door (“All of us become more wise as time goes by,” he says). Whether his views have actually changed isn’t addressed, but hey, the guy’s got chicken sandwiches to sell.
Also: The chain is all about targeting millennials. To that end, it’s introducing a healthier grilled-chicken sandwich as well as giving itself a Chipotle-like makeover, focusing on local sourcing, product quality, and workers’ rights. According to Cathy, the millennial generation cares about more than convenience and flavor: “It’s not just a product story anymore — but the whole story.”