Chick-fil-A is eyeing Europe and Asia as it plans a $1 billion international expansion for its popular fried chicken sandwiches, according to a Monday report from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
The fast food chain reportedly still has ample opportunity for growth in the United States, but establishing an international presence is necessary as the company plans for the long-term, third-generation Chick-fil-A owner Andrew Cathy told WSJ. He said the company is looking to open restaurants in Europe and Asia by 2026, with expansion to five international markets by 2030.
“We feel like it’s time to continue to innovate and try and test how we will do in international markets so that we can learn,” Cathy told WSJ.
Chick-fil-A plans a $1 billion international expansion through 2030 https://t.co/Ka90fNLaN4
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) March 13, 2023
The Atlanta-based chain holds a corner on the market for fried chicken sandwiches, leading the way among the likes of McDonald’s and Popeyes Louisiana Chicken for their crispy chicken versions, according to WSJ. Americans enjoyed a total 2.8 billion of the popular breaded chicken sandwich in a 12-month period ending in January, the outlet reported, citing market-research firm Circana Group. (RELATED: McDonald’s Shuts Down 850 Restaurants In Russia)
Just how many overseas restaurants Chick-fil-A plans to open has yet to be determined, Cathy told WSJ. The company reportedly plans to stick with its current model in which franchises run just one restaurant in close collaboration with the corporation, and profits are split with the restaurant after fees are paid.
This is not the first time the well-loved chain has targeted overseas consumers for its poultry-based menu. The company closed its last restaurant in the UK after months-long protests accusing Chick-fil-A of donating to organizations with allegedly anti-LGBTQ beliefs, the Advocate reported in April 2020.