Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Chick-fil-A is coming to Canada - get ready for some protests

The controversial American fast-food franchise Chick-fil-A plans to move into Canada in a big way next year.
The fast-growing Atlanta-based company, apparently best known for its breaded chicken sandwiches (yes, that's bread inside bread!), is now the 7th biggest fast-food chain in America, despite my never having even heard of it, and has now set its sights on the lucrative Canadian market. It actually already has a foothold here, having quietly opened a location at Calgary Airport back in 2014, but the company plans on opening 15 locations in the Toronto area over the next five years. Each restaurant is slated to have a mind-boggling 50-75 employees.
But Chick-fil-A (what sort of a name is that? what does it even mean?) is far from uncontroversial, despite it's success. It is owned by the billionaire Cathy family, ultra-conservative evangelical Southern Baptists, who have been outspoken against gay marriages, and who do not allow their stores to open on Sundays. The chain has already seen protests by LGBTQ activists in America, and I can well imagine more protests here if they were to open up in Toronto.
Their franchises, while relatively cheap at $15,000, are notoriously restrictive and controlling. Only 0.4% of franchise applicants are selected, and they should be very clear that this is not just an easy investment to make a bit of cash out of. The franchise rules specifically make the point that franchisees do not actually have to be Christian, but it is debatable how a company whose politics are better known that it's food will fare in Canada. The petitions have already started.

It was only when I can across a letter suggesting that the company name be changed to Chick-fil-Eh in Canada that I even realized that the name is a play on "chicken filet" (I had thought it was pronounced more like "chick fill ah" or "chick filler" or something).
What a stupid name!

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