Cathy family, Chick-fil-A
Chick-fil-A is finally crossing the road. The iconic chicken chain, as well known for its conservative heritage as its savory eats, is recalibrating its moral and culinary compass. It wants to go from old school to almost cool. It wants to evolve from a place where gays once picketed to a place where they’ll feel comfortable going to eat. It wants to broaden the brand as it expands nationally and plows into the Millennial-driven urban arena. Above all: It wants to be a serious player on fast food’s biggest stage. CEO Dan Cathy’s comments condemning gay marriage in 2012 set off a store picketing and a social media firestorm. Now he has backed away from such public pronouncements that mix personal opinion on social issues with corporate policy. “All of us become more wise as time goes by,” he said, apologetically. “We sincerely care about all people.” While Cathy’s comments didn’t hurt short-term business—and even helped it—Chick-fil-A executives recognize they may have done longer-term damage to the brand’s image at the very time it was eyeing major growth outside its friendly Southern market. More