Chick-fil-A: The most American brand

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Chick-fil-A: The most American brand

Hayden T. Crosby, Staff Columnist

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Chick-fil-A’s motto — “We Didn’t Invent The Chicken, Just The Chicken Sandwich” — is more  than just a catchy humblebrag; rather, it represents the deep similarities between the values of our country and its favorite fast food restaurant.

The record of American history is replete with figures from Henry Ford to Elvis Presley who prospered less by invention than by improvement, and our country’s founding itself was not so much a revolution with new ideas as it was a restoration and fuller manifestation of old ones. It is therefore fitting that the most American of all brands would follow this pattern of progress. 

And as with Elvis, Ford and the Founding Fathers, the success of Chick-fil-A’s staple product lies largely in the simplicity of its constitution. Only seven articles in total — two slices of bread, two pickle chips, a boneless chicken breast, butter and 100% refined peanut oil. S. Truett Cathy’s original recipe makes for a meal that America can’t help falling in love with. A Model T de nos jours.

Additionally, given the importance of the Christian religion in American history, it is fitting that the most American of restaurants in the most American of genres would be closed on Sundays, in order to give its patrons and employees alike the opportunity to worship if they choose.

Further, America’s greatness, though rooted in its commitment to the permanent things, is adorned by the proclivity of its people to experiment with new ideas; this is the whole notion of federalism. Similarly, Chick-fil-A moves beyond its main menu items to give customers the opportunity for novel flavor experiences.

Take, for example, the Frosted Lemonade. It has been said that this clever twist on America’s favorite summer beverage would be the headline item at a lesser dining establishment (think, say, Popeyes), but it is often overlooked when placed next to America’s favorite chicken sandwich. Nonetheless, experienced customers know that its combination of temperature, texture and tart bite — fans of the lattermost feature are advised to try the diet version for extra tart flavor  — is a perfect complement to a sandwich and signature sauce. If Heaven had a flavor profile, this would be it.

The commonalities between Chick-fil-A and the country that bore it are not limited to the positive aspects of each of them; like America, Chick-fil-A is not without a controversial past. On the issue of legal marriage rights, current CEO Dan Cathy has made news multiple times for standing athwart history, yelling Stop. While his defense of traditional marriage has certainly ruffled some feathers, those who find themselves in high dudgeon over the private views of a private business leader should remember that Chick-fil-A’s popularity in the face of controversy is proof that in America, meritocracy — and in this case, great chicken — transcends political differences.

In strength and weakness, philosophy and practice, Chick-fil-A bears a striking resemblance to the Republic for which it stands. It is no wonder that it was recently voted our nation’s favorite fast food restaurant. I am confident that a similar poll conducted on our campus would yield the same result. Roll Tide to America. Roll Tide to freedom. Roll Tide to Chick-fil-A.