Chick-Fil-A is making moves to expand internationally. The fast-food chain wants to go into the Europe and Asia markets.
The company is set to invest $1 billion. Third-generation CEO Andrew Cathy, who took over the chief executive role in September 2021, outlined the plans in an exclusive interview with the Wall Street Journal.
Cathy says the homegrown chicken chain plans on opening restaurants in each region by 2026 and will have at least five new markets by 2030.
The eatery brought in more than $16 billion in sales last year across its 2,700 restaurants. And there’s still room for growth in the U.S. Chick-Fil-A is a staple chain in the South, meaning there’s plenty of opportunity to increase in presence in other regions. Oahu, Hawaii, just opened its first Chick-Fil-A in October.
Chick-fil-A’s global efforts for an international expansion isn’t a surprise, it’s actually been in the works for some time now.
Cathy started working on an international strategy in 2016 when he took on the role of executive vice president of operations. The company’s LinkedIn page lists executive positions for departments such as supply chain, design, legal, and tax for its international division, headed by Anita Costello, executive vice president of international.
The Journal also reported that Chick-fil-A plans to keep its owner-operator model in its international locations instead of granting master franchisee licenses to intermediaries that open multiple stores in a given market. It also plans to use domestic and foreign suppliers to replicate its supply chain, adding that few adaptations to the menu are envisaged.
The announcement promises to make Atlanta an even larger hub for international franchising.