April 13, 2021

Is Chick Fil A Stock Publicly Traded?

Is Chick Fil A Stock Publicly Traded?

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Chick-Fil-A is not a publicly traded stock, has no ticker symbol or stock price. 

The Chick-fil-A company is privately owned and estimated to be worth $4.5 billion. The private equity shares are divided between the three sons of the founder Samuel Truett-Cathy.

Chick-fil-A was named the number one restaurant brand in America for six straight years in the 2020 American Customer Satisfaction Index. A half-million customers gave Chick-fil-A the highest ratings in categories such as food quality, accuracy, speed of service, and mobile-app reliability. Chick-Fil-A received the highest score, 84 out of 100 in the American Customer Satisfaction Index. According to Forbes. [1]

Chick-fil-A’s sales are over 50% higher than McDonald’s, Forbes contributor Alicia Kelso claims. Chick-fil-A’s sales grew by 13% between 2019 and 2020, Restaurant Business claims.

Chick-fil-A became the third-largest fast-food chain in the U.S. in 2018 as it grew larger than Subway and Taco Bell. Chick-fil-A operated 2,470 restaurants in the United States in 2019. Only McDonald’s and Starbucks are still larger than Chick-Fil-A in 2021.

It accomplished all this even while being closed on Sunday in observance of the founder’s Christian faith. This also helps attract both Christian employees and higher quality employees with the benefit of being off every Sunday. 

Even after becoming one of the most beloved, popular, and fasting growing fast food restaurants Chick-Fil-A still has no plans to go IPO. One reason they are not interested in going public because they are operated as a Christian company and concerned that an IPO would change their ability to control their company values. 

It is only possible to share in the success of Chick-fil-A through becoming a franchisee. It’s 30 times harder to become a Chick-fil-A franchisee than to get into Harvard. Chick-fil-A accepted just 0.15% of people who applied to become franchise operators in 2018. For comparison, Harvard had an acceptance rate of 4.5% for the class of 2023, roughly 30 times that of Chick-fil-A. Business Insider claims Chick-fil-A receives 20,000 franchisee applications a year and accepts only 70 to 80. Chick-fil-A approves only 0.4% of franchise applicants, Entrepreneur claims. [2]

A franchise can cost $10,000 U.S. or $15,000 Canadian. The company covers all the startup costs, real estate, building construction, and equipment financing. Compartibly, it costs $1 million to start a McDonald’s restaurant. Franchisees receive no private company stock equity. Chick-fil-A allows franchises to own only one restaurant. Chick-fil-A doesn’t allow investors and speculators to purchase franchises. [1]

The three publicly traded companies most similar to Chick-Fil-A are Dominoes Pizza (DPZ), Chipotle (CMG), and Shake Shack (SHAK) as they all focus on one type of food, customer experience, and customer service.