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Big Mac versus Chick-fil-A

ron_macarthur
May 23, 2013

Perhaps you didn't pick up on it, but a fast-food skirmish took place May 23 on Route 1 in Rehoboth Beach.

During the hoopla of the grand opening of Chick-fil-A, not far away McDonald's was offering its signature Big Mac for $1 and Big Mac Extra Value Meal for $3. It was also offering customers coupons for a free chicken sandwich with the purchase of a soft drink or Chicken McNuggets through May 28. I'm surprised Ronald McDonald wasn't called in for backup.

In addition, Jake's Seafood House had a sign up stating its free chicken sandwich was better.

I guess these events could be coincidence.

On opening day, Chick-fil-A was giving out a coupon for a free breakfast sandwich – sorry I draw the line at chicken for breakfast.

The Golden Arches are feeling a little heat from Chick-fil-A. Do you find that surprising?

In the world of quick-serve and fast-casual food – the phrase fast food is no longer politically correct – McDonald's is the undisputed champion at the top of the chart with more than $34 billion in U.S. sales in 2011 with more than 14,000 restaurants – no other chain even comes close. Worldwide, McDonald's has more than 34,000 restaurants serving 69 million people each day.

Chick-fil-A, which is not open on Sunday, ranks 10th in sales on the QSR Magazine top 50 with sales of just over $4 billion in U.S. sales with 1,600 restaurants.

But – and maybe this is why McDonald's looks at Chick-fil-A openings with concern – Chick-fil-A is at the top of the chart when it comes to average sales per restaurant with $2.9 million compared to McDonald's $2.5 million. Remember, Chick-fil-A is open 52 less days per year.

If trends continue, it won't be long before Chick-fil-A overtakes its arch rival Kentucky Fried Chicken in annual sales, even though KFC has nearly 3,000 more restaurants. Over the past few years, KFC has been closing restaurants while Chick-fil-A has slowly been opening new ones.

  • Ron MacArthur has lived and worked in Sussex County all his life. As a journalist for more than 40 years, he has covered everything from county and town meetings to presidential visits. He also has a unique perspective having served as an elected official and lived on both sides of the county.

    Contact Ron at ronm@capegazette.com