The nation's largest chicken chain, Chick-Fil-A, is expanding beyond its southern roots. The fast food staple, equally famous for its chicken sandwiches and its Christian beliefs, will be bringing dozens of locations in New York City.
The Atlanta-based franchise will open 108 restaurants in urban areas by the end of the year, many of them in New York City, the CEO told USA Today. The news of the expansion comes just two years after Christian CEO, Dan Cathy, expressed his beliefs on gay marriage; an action that afforded the fast-food chain boycotts and social media backlash. Cathy is also known for allowing Chick-Fil-A to continue with its founding practice of being closed on Sundays, so that employees can have the day off to attend church for worship.
Dismissing previous bouts of backlash, Cathy implied that he will choose to speak less to the public about his beliefs. "I'm going to leave it to politicians and others to discuss social issues," he said.
Chick-Fil-A will also be expanding in Los Angeles and Chicago, competing with other fast-food restaurants like McDonald's and Panera Bread. In addition, the chicken chain also announced that a new set of grilled chicken sandwiches will be added to the menu.
Though there is already one Chick-Fil-A present in New York City, located inside a residence hall at NYU, this is the first time the chicken chain is paying particular attention to a mass New York effort.
Speaking on the franchise's upcoming ambitions, Chick-Fil-A vice president Woody Faulk told USA Today, "If we can't do it in New York, we have no business going anywhere else."