(240)-343-2585

This case was prepared by Lynda Palmer of Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. This case was

developed solely as the basis for an E2B program class case project. Cases are not intended to serve as endorsements, sources of

primary data, or illustrations of effective or ineffective management. No part of this publication or subsequent information provided by

the company in this class case project may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, used in a spreadsheet, or transmitted in any form

or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise – beyond the duration of the class case project or for

purposes other than the class case project without permission of the author and/or organization.

MKTG 615.11, 615.14, 615.16
Spring 2022
Drescher Graduate Campus
Professor Maderazzo and
Professor Carroll

Pepperdine E2B™ Case Project: Chick-fil-A

“To Glorify God by Being a Faithful Steward of all that is Entrusted to us. To have a Positive

Influence with All Who Come Into Contact with Chick-fil-A”

Chick-fil-A Corporate Purpose

Operating with the same guiding principles on which the company was founded, United States-based

quick-serve restaurant, Chick-fil-A is looking to bring its beloved menu and culture to other parts of

the globe. As a privately held organization, Chick-fil-A has the luxury of being able to make decisions

focused on a long-term outlook and deeply embedded in its brand guardrails.

Global expansion has been on Chick-fil-A’s radar and the management team is seeking information to

help them assess which regions and countries would be the best fit. Senior Principal Talent Lead –

International, Caleb Nicholson asks, “How do we think about growth moving forward? We have

expanded into Puerto Rico and Canada and are in the strategic planning phases for expansion into other

countries. We want to interact with international students to gain their perspectives on considerations

and strategies for building the brand in international markets. This includes researching target countries

and identifying countries that would be the best fit for Chick-fil-A expansion as well as developing

marketing recommendations such as how the culture of Chick-Fil-A integrates into the country culture,

which products Chick-fil-A should offer, and the best way to communicate about Chick-fil-A to create

brand awareness.”

Business Overview

Headquartered in College Park, Georgia, Chick-fil-A was founded in 1946 by S. Truett Cathy with the

first store opening in Atlanta’s Greenbrier Shopping Center. Since that time, Chick-fil-A has grown to

over 2,900 storesi with the majority of its locations in the Southern region of the United States.ii Chick-

fil-A is a quick-serve restaurant chain best known for its boneless chicken breast sandwich. It operates

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through a franchise-based model. It is the largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the United

States based on annual system-wide sales, having generated $11 billion in 2019 and an estimated $11.7

billion in 2020iii. With an eye on careful global expansion, Chick-fil-A has expanded to Puerto Rico

and Canada and is looking to expand to other parts of the globe.

Chick-fil-A has strong brand guardrails that emerge from its mission and initial roots. Chick-fil-A’s

founder, Truett Cathy was a committed philanthropist and strongly focused on serving customers and

empowering employees. Truett Cathy viewed his business as more than a source of revenue for his

family: it was a source of encouragement to others.iv

“We should be about more than just selling chicken. We should be a part of our customers’ lives and the

communities in which we serve.”

S. Truett Cathy

Truett Cathy also had a unique approach to growth. He was less focused on growing Chick-fil-A, and

more focused on creating a better offering. He believed if Chick-fil-A were better, its customers would

demand that it grow bigger.v This belief permeates into the Chick-fil-A growth strategy. As a privately

held company, Chick-fil-A is able to make strategic decisions that align with its mission and values.

Many decisions are made with a long-term goal in mind. It is Chick-fil-A’s goal for its brand to remain

prominent 100 years from now.

International Expansion

Chick-fil-A management has been evaluating international expansion by regions—Africa, Asia,

Oceania, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and North America. Within each region, they look for an

entry point that would have the highest rate of success and allow Chick-fil-A to adapt to the cultural

uniqueness of the region. So far, international expansion has included Canada with four stores

currently open and two planned to open prior to year-end 2021. Puerto Rico is also on the active

expansion list with six store openings planned in 2022. All expansion is done through a franchise

model.

Chick-fil-A’s strategy is focused on a market taker versus a market maker approach, which means they

would rather go into an existing market than create a market. Chick-fil-A management is looking for

points of entry that already have a fast-casual, drive through and/or quick-serve market.

Chick-fil-A adjusts its marketing mix for each market. Pricing is focused on a value-based pricing

model—based on consumers’ perceived value of the offering. The branding and promotions approach

in new territories have been focused on what Chick-fil-A is offering—quality and freshness of the food

versus in the United States where the focus has been on who Chick-fil-A is as a hospitality brand. In

the United States, Chick-fil-A advertising is done on a local basis (with corporate-approved ads) but in

new entry points, Chick-fil-A intends to do more national advertising to create brand awareness.

For product adjustments, Chick-fil-A focuses on what they do best, chicken, as their core product but

management also researches the flavor profile of what consumers in that region want and adds

dressings, salads, side dishes, and drinks to align with the local flavor profile. For example, Canadians

are heavy coffee consumers so one of the beverages offered in the Canadian market is a roasted local

blend. Puerto Ricans are heavy espresso consumers so espresso is offered on the Puerto Rican menu.

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Additionally, different chicken offerings might sell better in one region versus another. The spicy

flavor chicken is selling much more in Canada than in the United States.

Canada

As Chick-fil-A’s first international expansion, Canada was an easy choice. First of all, Canada’s

proximity to the United States was conducive to supply chain logistics. Additionally, data showed, per

capita, Canadians consumed the second most amounts of fast -ood next to the United States and their

most desired protein was chicken.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico was chosen as an entry point into the Latin American market. Even though Puerto Rico is

a United States territory, its culture is closer to Latin American culture. Additionally, of all the Latin

American countries, Puerto Rico has the strongest economy. Chick-fil-A management believes the

Puerto Rico market will provide a strong entry point to explore the brand in the Spanish language.

Every country has a governing body that has information on the state of the restaurant industry in that

country. When researching Canada, Chick-fil-A used Restaurants Canada. Students are encouraged to

find the restaurant industry associations in the countries they are researching.

Industry Background

The global fast-food restaurant industry generated revenues of $797.7billion in 2021which is expected

to increase 8.4% as demand returns from the COVID decline. Industry growth rate is expected to

increase 3% annually to $925 billion in 2021.vi

The industry is approaching saturation in many developed countries resulting from oversupply and

extensive franchising. Because of the saturation, many operators are looking to emerging economies

such as Asia, Russia, South American, and India. These economies are expected to account for a small

percentage of the industry revenue near term; they are expected to expand due to substantial population

growth and increased per capita income.vii

Competitive Landscape

US Market

Chick-fil-A is the market share leader in the US fast-food chicken franchise market with 38.9% market

shareviii followed by KFC with a 14% market share. KFC is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands (Yum), one

of the World’s most notable and popular fast-food chicken restaurants with over 50,170 company-

owned, franchised, and licensed restaurants including 23,759 franchised KFC restaurants. Yum has

aggressively opened restaurants in China (mostly KFC) but in 2017, moved its China-based businesses

into a separate entity.ix

Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. has a 13.4% market share in the US market with 3,102 restaurants

and reported over $4.4 billion in total revenue for 2019. In 2017, Popeye’s was purchased by

Restaurant Brands International for $1.8 billion.x

Zaxby’s Franchising LLC with 900 restaurants in the Southeastern US has a 4.4% market share and

Bojangles’ Inc. with 750 restaurants and $1.3 billion in global revenues holds a 2.2% market share.xi

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Global Fast Food

McDonald’s corporation, which generated global revenue of $19.2 billion in 2020, has the largest

market share of the global fast-food market at 12.7%*. Yum! Brands generated global revenues of

$15.9 billion and holds a 10.3%* market share. With global revenues of $21.7 billion, the Burger King

brand accounted for 2.7%* market share. Subway holds a 2.3% *share of the global market and

generated $18.5 billion in global industry relevant revenue.xii

*market share is based on system-wide sales which includes revenue earned from franchised and

company-owned stores

Project Objectives

Chick-fil-A has successfully expanded into Canada and Puerto Rico and is looking for other areas in

which to expand. Nicholson explains, “How do we take this brand into other markets? We know who

we are. Which other markets will embrace our brand?”

The objective of this project is to perform the necessary research and analysis activities to recommend

which country would be the next logical entry point for Chick-fil-A’s global expansion and to develop

a marketing plan to enter that market.

Project Deliverables

Part 1: Research, analysis, and presentation of the top two potential countries for Chick-fil-A to enter.

During Part 1 of this project, Pepperdine E2B Teams will be involved in the research and analysis of

the global market and develop a recommendation to the Chick-Fil-A team of which two countries

would be the best potential markets. The client will choose one of the two recommended markets for

each team to focus on for Part 2 of the project.

Part 2: Recommendation for market entry

During Part 2 of this project, Pepperdine E2B Team will develop a go-to-market strategy in their

assigned country for Chick-fil-A’s market entry.

See components outline below for final project deliverables.

Components Outline Comments

Executive Summary

Team Member Bios

Table Of Contents

Situation Analysis Information provided in this document– students to summarize in

this section of their report

Industry Analysis What market (or segment of the market) does the company’s

products compete in? Look at US and Global.

Supply Structure Define the major players in the market

Drivers Identify the principal external factors that may have either a

positive or negative influence on market demand

Trends Outline the factors that may influence purchase behavior of your

market

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Growth Cite growth rates for industry, sub-segment and product categories

Company Analysis Identify important elements about the company and its offerings.

Culture and structure What is the culture of the company, What is its organizational

structure, operational structure, financial structure?

Product Describe the company’s product offerings, competitive advantage,

value proposition, markets served, and distribution strategy.

Customer Analysis Who will use this product?

Demographics/ Geographics B2C- Evaluate customers by age, gender, nationality, education,

household composition, occupation and income

Market Psychographics (only

applicable for Consumer

market)

B2C-Categorize existing and potential consumer market on the

basis of lifestyle or personality attributes

Behaviors Define behavioral variables, such as occasions that stimulate a

purchase, the benefits users realize, user status, usage rate, loyalty,

buyer-readiness stage, and attitude toward the product offering.

Needs Define customer needs most relevant or critical to satisfy.

Segmentation Model/diagram – using relevant insights from subsections above

Country Analysis

Culture Identify cultural norms and values that may have a positive or

negative impact on Chick-fil-A.

Size of the market How large is the potential market?

Restaurant market trends Assess the fast-food/quick-serve and drive-through restaurant

industry and trends.

Competitors Assess the competitors.

Legal requirements Are there testing, certifications, or other legal requirements to be

aware of?

Operational issues Where will the talent pool come from to work at the Chick-fil-A

restaurant?

Products Will products, labeling or packaging need to be modified?

Pricing Is the price point appealing?

Distribution How should the product be distributed?

Promotion What considerations need to be made when promoting the product?

SWOT Analysis Present in table format. Provide an overview of the company’s key

strengths and weaknesses and summarize the key external market

factors (as opportunities or threats) from industry, customer and

competitive analysis sections.

Marketing Objectives Identify the next global market for Chick-fil-A to enter and develop

a go-to-market strategy.

Marketing Strategies

Country recommendation Identify the recommended country of entry

Target Markets

Define consumer segments the company should focus their

marketing efforts and map the Consumer Journey

Positioning Define the best positioning for the brand. Positioning statements are

for internal use (versus an externally focused advertising slogan).

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Positioning should be supported by a positioning map that defines

key consumer benefits and competitive landscape. Framework:

For (target customer) who (statement of need/opportunity), (brand)

is (product/service category) that (statement of benefit), unlike

(primary competitive alternatives), (brand) (statement of primary

differentiation).

Marketing Mix

Product Recommend product augmentations

Pricing Strategy Recommend pricing strategy

Promotional Strategy This section specifies the message, what marketing

communications channels — advertising, sales promotion, public

relations, events, direct marketing, interactive/internet, and personal

selling —should be used to spread the message to the target market,

and within the communication channel what specific media,

promotions, events, etc. will be most effective in reaching the target

market. Consideration should be given to use of both Inbound and

Outbound marketing (see Figure 1: Inbound vs. Outbound

Marketing).

Service Strategy Define what customers expect (i.e., customer support, training). By

whom and how will this support be delivered?

Distribution Strategy Define how the offering gets from the producer to the end user.

References APA 7th format: http://www.apastyle.org/

Appendix

Project Primary Research Each team is required to conduct qualitative primary research to

provide directional data to support their recommended marketing

strategy. Your research objective, methodology, instrument and

summary of findings should be included in this section.

Public and Private Secondary Resources

Pepperdine Library Databases

Students are required to make extensive use of Pepperdine Library databases for this project. See

Pepperdine Libraries E2B Library InfoGuide (LINK), which highlights databases for researching and

supporting marketing plan development.

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In addition, students’ research should include other sources of information and statistics from trade

associations, think-tanks, management consulting firms, and government agencies, such as:

− Nielsen Consumer Insights http://www.nielsen.com
− McKinsey’s Consumer Insights http://www.mckinsey.com/
− Pew Research Center http://www.pewresearch.org/
− Accenture https://www.accenture.com
− PriceWaterhouseCoopers http://www.pwc.com/us/en/publications.html

Confidentiality

All confidential and/or proprietary information provided by the client, consisting but not necessarily

limited to business information (e.g., company name, employee contact information, product

information, customer lists, pricing data, financial data, marketing data, research, and/or production,

distribution, selling, merchandising systems or plans) and technical information (e.g., methods,

processes, formulas, compositions, systems, techniques, inventions, machines, computer programs, and

research projects), may only be disclosed and/or used as authorized by the client company for purposes

of carrying out the class case project for the client company. Please refer to terms of the signed

Restricted Use Agreement.

Communication Protocol & Engagement with Client

While a large part of the work that you will be undertaking in the project is self-directed, it is

imperative that your team proactively reaches out to your client (beyond the three scheduled in-class

client meetings) to develop the relationship. Creating great marketing plans for your client, involves

your client. Client engagement should include:

✓ imparting knowledge learned through your market research —to validate understanding or to
identify knowledge gaps that can be addressed through your work

✓ asking questions—questions to gain new information, questions to validate data or reveal
discrepancies, questions to better understand your clients perspective (opinions, feelings,

attitudes), questions to advance buy-in

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✓ trial balloons—sharing strategies and/or tactics with your client before your presentation to
gain their reaction, allowing your team time to solidify your proposal.

To ensure the most efficient means of communication with your client, the team communication leader

should be the primary interface with your client. Requests for engagement should be thought out and

initiated through email. In some instances email exchange may be the appropriate communication

medium for engaging with the client. In other instances, a site-visit, video or phone call may be the

more appropriate medium. Some clients are more hands-off and others expect interaction. The team

should work with their client to ascertain their communication and engagement preferences.

Use of Cloud-based Presentation Software

If your team is inclined to use a cloud-based service for team collaboration, please use your Pepperdine

Google Apps (GLEAN) or a secure hosting service such as Dropbox. Cloud-based presentation

software services like PREZI may not be used, unless you have a premium subscription that allows

you privacy control. The free version of PREZI does not provide users with privacy controls—all

presentations are automatically made “public and reusable”—which is a violation of the terms of your

Restricted Use Agreement.

Company provided information

Please make sure to view all company provided information in Sakai or 2PEP

Project Expectations

Students Company

▪ Class will be broken into teams of 3–5-
students

▪ Each student team will conduct a 15–20-
minute live meeting with the company

stakeholders mid-trimester to present key

insights and gain approval on the

recommended marketing strategy

▪ Each student team will produce a 20–25-
page comprehensive report (per syllabus)

▪ Each student team will deliver a 15–20-
minute oral live presentation highlighting

key elements of their report to the company

stakeholders at the final class session

▪ Present a 45 minute company/project
briefing to class

▪ Make agreed-upon information available to
students to complete project

▪ Make company subject matter experts and/or
project stakeholders available to answer

student questions relative to the project

▪ Attend the two classes designated for project
student presentations and provide feedback

as necessary

▪ Complete an online survey evaluation for
each team.

Evaluation Criteria

• Depth … analyze with astute insight, comprehension and intelligence

• Substance … give specific information; ensure adequate coverage of information

• Thoroughness … develop comprehensively

• Proportion … achieve appropriate balance

• Pertinence … preserve relevance throughout

• Evidence … validate, authenticate consistently (describe your research and cite resources)

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• Precision … be exact, include specific examples and details

• Clarity … clearly present results of analysis; effectively use tables and figures

• Coherence … maintain connectedness, cohesion, organization

Company Contact Information

Company Address: 5200 Buffington Road, Atlanta, GA 30349

Name Title Email Address Phone Number

Caleb Nicholson

Senior Principal

Talent Lead –

International

[email protected]

912.220.1805

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Key Company Participation Dates

Activity When

1. Company Project Briefing to Class
Project company will brief the class on their organization, industry,

current situation and project request in a video presentation. View here

https://pepperdine.zoom.us/rec/share/43dX9qPt0q5Rj1jSbkYPhceYZvzF

cg7qAFspRRzbX6apR-

IgWG7O40nkpIi3mbUO.Nm_TMUY6c03_N6N-

Passcode: at5#&+pU

Available for viewing upon

submission of signed RUA.

Please view prior to

company Q and A session.

2. Company Virtual Tour
Students must participate in a Chick-fi-A Backstage virtual tour prior to

the Q and A session. Sign up here

https://www.cvent.com/c/calendar/efe9cec9-002a-4bad-8d05-

0c2a9045e752

Please tour prior to

company Q and A session.

3. Company Q and A Session-Via Zoom
Your professor will host a live question and answer session with the

company’s executives. Briefing video and company tour must be

completed prior to the Q and A session. Note this session will be

recorded.

Monday 1/3/22

3:00 pm, 6:00 pm

Wednesday 1/12/22

6:00 pm

4. Company SITE visit
Student teams are required to visit and Chick-fil-A restaurant.

Required prior to the

midpoint presentation

5. MID-POINT Presentations-Live
Student teams will have 15 minutes to individually present their

preliminary market insights to company management and directionally

verbalize their recommended strategy, followed by 10 minutes of

company Q&A. ONLY the student team presenting is in the classroom.

Monday 2/28/22

1:00 pm, 6:00 pm

Wednesday 3/2/22

6:00 pm

6. Final Report submission and Presentation of Recommendations:
Venue TBD

Students will submit their final reports electronically to the company

executives on the project contact list for review and evaluation. Student

teams will have 15 minutes to present an executive summary of their

recommendation; followed by 10 minutes of company Q & A. ALL

students are present in the classroom.

Monday 4/11/22

1:00 pm, 6:00 pm

Wednesday 4/13/22

6:00 pm

7. Final Evaluation Forms DUE
Company will complete one evaluation form for each of the individual

teams and submit it to the professor electronically.

Monday

Via weblink

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IMPORTANT NOTE: When communicating with people or organizations outside of PGBS or the

client in search of information, guidance, or advice of any kind, it is imperative that you keep the

identity of your E2B Client strictly confidential unless you have explicit permission in writing from the

client additional clarification, please consult your Professor.

i History. Chick-fil-A. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2021, from https://www.chick-fil-a.com/about/history.
ii Le, T. (2021). Fast Food Chicken Franchises. IBISWorld Industry Report OD5544.
iii IBID
iv History. Chick-fil-A. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2021, from https://www.chick-fil-a.com/about/history.
v Chick-fil-A Virtual Tour. (2021, October). other.
vi Buchko, M. (2021). Global Fast Food Restaurants. IBISWorld Industry Report G4621-GL.
vii IBID
viii Le, T. (2021). Fast Food Chicken Franchises. IBISWorld Industry Report OD5544.
ix IBID
x IBID
xi IBID
xii Buchko, M. (2021). Global Fast Food Restaurants. IBISWorld Industry Report G4621-GL.