Chick Fil A Stock Symbol

Chick Fil A Stock Price and Symbol

7 min read

What is Chick Fil A’s stock price, and are they publicly traded? Investors cannot purchase shares of Chick Fil A because they are a private company. However, investors can purchase shares of their competitor McDonald’s under the stock symbol (NYSE: MCD).

Chick Fil A’s Christian family values might not be preserved in the hands of the public. Granted, Chick-fil-A stock would be doing super well if they did go public, but Truett Cathy never wanted the company to go public, and his family is carrying that on.

Chart by TradingView.

Chick Fil A’s food is delicious and the service is impeccable. So this begs the question, will there ever be a IPO for Chick Fil A that we can invest or  trade someday? With annual revenues of more than $1 billion and a ranking of 8th in U.S. sales, buying Chick Fil A stock seems like a no-brainer. Let’s take a look under the hood to see if we can ever get a piece of this fast-food behemoth in the future.

Chick-fil-A at a Glance

Founded by Truett Cathy in Hapeville, Georgia, in 1946, Chick-fil-A has exploded to become the largest chicken fast-food franchise in the U.S. And yet with over 1900 locations in 42 states, the franchise is still family-owned and privately held. Each year thousands of entrepreneurs apply for a Chick-fil-A franchise, but only a handful will actually receive the opportunity.

Undoubtedly, Chick-fil-A is one of the best and most successful fast-food franchise chains in America. Ranking 8th in U.S. sales, Chick-fil-A units are the most-frequented fast food restaurant in 38 out of 50 states. 

Plus, Chick-fil-A makes about $4.4 million in sales per year – $1.7 million more than the next best restaurant, Whataburger.

In fact, despite being closed every Sunday, Chick-fil-A makes more per restaurant than McDonald’s, Subway and Starbucks combined. How crazy is that?!

Why Is Chick-fil-A so Successful?

On no uncertain terms, their success comes because of what they do best; feeding people delicious, finger-licking chicken.

I’d be remiss not to mention their friendly workers who serve without discrimination. Perhaps this is based on their Christian philosophies of treating their customers with kindness and respect. In turn, all customers feel at home while enjoying their grilled chicken sandwiches. 

How to Buy Chick fil A Stock?

With revenue numbers like that, buying stock seems like a no-brainer. In light of this, even amateur investors would be opening up their pocketbooks to get a piece of the chicken.

But you can’t. Chick-fil-A is a privately held company. Stock trading is hampered by companies that aren’t publicly traded; which can stink with companies who are extremely successful. 

5 Reasons Why You Can't Buy Chick-fil-A Stock 

  • The wish of the founder, Truett Cathy
  • To keep full control through the ownership
  • They’re successful enough and don’t need our money
  • They don’t want to many “cooks in the kitchen”
  • Sustaining the culture they’ve become known for
Like any other private company, there are various reasons they remain so. Before you get mad and curse them for being selfish, here are a few reasons why Chick-fil-A stocks may not be available.

The Founder's Wish

When the company founder, Truett Cathy, died in 2014, he gave the leadership to his son T. Dan Cathy. Before Cathy died, he drafted a contract stating that the ownership of the company should remain private and in the family. Since then, nothing’s changed, and it does not trade on the stock exchange.

To Keep Ownership Control

Needless to say, when company stocks are not out for the public to buy, they retain ownership and the power to dictate how it should run. In my opinion, I couldn’t agree more. I wouldn’t want anyone telling me how to run my affairs or dictating how I should do things. And that’s what Cathy, the founder wished for Chick-fil-A.

They Don't Need Our Money

One of the reasons a company chooses to become public is to raise money. For example, they may want to expand to different cities countries or buy new equipment; the list goes on and on. To get the money they need, they raise it by selling stocks in the form of an IPO. 

Let’s be clear, due to their extraordinary success, Chick-fil-A does not need to sell their stock to raise money. With revenues that would make anyone’s head spin, they have been able to sustain their expansion and operations without outside help. 

They Don't Need More Cooks in the Kitchen

Have you ever heard of the phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen”? That situation can be an unfortunate reality for companies that go public.

In this scenario, think of cooks like shareholders. Every additional cook has a different idea of how to do something. Considering there’s more than one way to skin a cat – or a chicken, listening to all 50 cooks can be tedious and detrimental to a company.

As it stands, Chick-fil-A’s been doing quite fine on their own the past 74 years. They have confidence in their management team and trust all their decisions. Quite frankly, what they don’t need is outsider interference; I think this is a smart business philosophy. 

Sustaining Their Culture

Chick-fil-A is unique in that they subscribe to certain beliefs and principles. Cathy, their founder, had a business philosophy that management still respects to this day — and that is their refusal to operate on Sundays.

I must admit, I like the forced day of rest; it’s not always about the money. Consequently, that may change if they allow dictation from the outside.

The Cathy family probably has all the money they need, and have the desire to continue to run the company the way they see fit, and has family members who are interested in pursuing the mission.

I would imagine that going public would bring changes that might increase corporate profitability, but likely would change the company in such a way that it was no longer unique in the market. To be very specific, do you think that they would continue to be closed on Sundays if shareholders in the public domain owned them?

What Are Some Other Ways You Can Invest in Chick-fil-A?

Just because the Chick-fil-A stocks aren’t publicly traded, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be part of their success. How can one achieve that? By franchising. For an initial financial fee of $10,000 selected franchisees get the rights necessary to operate a franchised Chick-fil-A Restaurant business. 

However, competition is fierce. But, if luck is on your side, and they pick you, the fees for constructing the premises are covered (sort of). Once complete, they hand you over the keys to the branch for you to run.

Obviously, this comes with a few feathers attached. Firstly, you need to give Chick-fil-A 15% of your daily sales for the construction and operational fees. Secondly, at the end of each month, you must pay them 50% of your net sales after taxation.

Oh, not to mention the fact you can’t open Sundays. One downside of franchising Chick-fil-A is that you don’t have any equity in the company, nor do you have any rights to sell it or pass it on. 

Some Other Fast Food Companies You Can Buy Stock In

Don’t despair since you can’t get a piece of your favorite chicken sandwich; you have other options. Have you thought of investing in Mickey D’s?

With its 36,000 restaurants, McDonald’s (MCD) is a significant force in the fast-food industry. Likewise, another major heavy hitter, KFC, has 21,000 worldwide locations.

Unlike McDonald’s, you can’t directly purchase shares because it’s not a standalone public business. Instead, all you need to do is buy shares in its corporate parent, Yum! Brands (YUM).

MCD TipRanks Report 5/23.

Chick Fil A Stock Final Thoughts

Chick-Fil-A is one of the fastest-growing and most successful fast food operations in North America. Despite the fact that you can’t buy stock in Chick-Fil-A, you can certainly purchase stock in their competitors in the market.

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