WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Chick-fil-A’s alleged “anti LGBT+ stance” has cost it its first UK branch, which is set to close at the end of its six-month lease.
- Meanwhile, Chick-fil-A’s sales in America seem unaffected.
- Experts surmise thatChick-fil-A’s reputation might hinder any plans of expansion or brand partnerships.
Chick-fil-A’s alleged “anti LGBT+ stance” has cost it its first UK branch, which is set to close at the end of its six-month lease.
A Chick-fil-A representative told Business Insider, “Chick-fil-A is always evaluating potential new locations in the hope of serving customers great food and award-winning service. This six-month pilot licensed location was part of our exploration in international markets.”
According to a representative for The Oracle shopping center in Reading, the chain’s lease will not extend beyond the six-month pilot period, calling it “the right thing to do.”
The UK branch opening last week faced protests from critics who condemned Chick-fil-A’s “anti LGBT+ stance.”
Protesters linked Chick-fil-A to anti-LGBTQ legislation in Uganda, such as the “Kill the Gays” bill that would impose the death penalty on homosexuality.
Chick-fil-A had previously donated to the American nonprofit National Christian Foundation (NCF) — which donated to groups connected to anti-LGBTQ legislation. But the chain stopped donating in 2012. Meanwhile, Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy kept donating to an affiliated nonprofit as an individual.
Chick-fil-A’s philanthropic arm, the Chick-fil-A Foundation, now donates to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army to help fund sports camps and a holiday gift-giving program.
Rodney Bullard, the head of the foundation, told Business Insider that the donations are part of their “calling” to be “relevant and impactful in the community” by helping children “be everything that they can be.”
Bullard continued, “For us, that’s a much higher calling than any political or cultural war that’s being waged.”
Chick-fil-A had insisted on having an inclusive workplace, but their anti-LGBTQ reputation precedes them. Progressive publications often paint Chick-fil-A as a homophobic company, and new branches are met with protest.
Meanwhile, Chick-fil-A’s sales in the US seem unaffected. Their annual sales have increased from $4.6 billion in 2012 to $10.5 billion in 2018. The chain also consistently tops rankings for customer service and food.
But the chain’s reputation could hinder any plans of expansion or brand partnerships. Chris Allieri, founder at brand consultancy Mulberry & Astor, told Business Insider earlier this year that he would advise against working with a company that appears to support “discrimination and hate.”