WATCH: The Average Chick-fil-A Restaurant Tops McDonald's, Starbucks, and Subway in Sales
Despite being closed one day a week, Chick fil-A, per store, makes more in sales than the country's most popular fast food restaurants combined.
Chick fil-A might not make as much in overall sales as McDonald's, Starbucks, and Subway, but when you look at how much each location brings in, the Georgia-based chicken chain blows the other, bigger fast food franchises out of the water.
In QSR magazine's QSR 50 report for 2018, Chick-fil-A ranked eighth in U.S., after taking in $9 billion. The top three spots were claimed by McDonald's, Starbucks, and Subway, who brought in $37.5 billion, $13.2 billion, and $10.8 billion respectively.
But here's where Chick fil-A wows. As Houston Chronicle points out, Chick-fil-A only operates 2,225 restaurants. That's less than one-sixth as many as the top-three earning restaurants and less than half as many as the rest of the franchises ahead of it. The plucky chicken chain manages to rank so highly—above KFC, Chipotle, and Domino's—because it earns more per store than the other restaurants… by a landslide. In 2017, the average Chick-fil-A unit made around $4.1 million in sales each year. Considering that the total sales for the average McDonald's store is around $2.7 million, Starbucks are just above $945,000, and Subway stores bring in just $416,860, it's clear that Chick fil-A, which operates one less day per week, is in a league of its own.
So how do they do it? "There's its stellar customer service, yes. And of course, the product is good. But let's not forget that Chick-fil-A also keeps ahead of the curve with its menu innovations," QSR muses. "In the last year, that's included Spicy Chick-n-Strips, a Hash Brown Scramble breakfast bowl, a Grilled Spicy Deluxe Chicken Sandwich, and beverages like Peach Tea Lemonade."
Whatever the reason, it's clear they've found the secret money-making sauce!