Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

A Foolish Take: Gen Z Diners Love Chick-fil-A

By Leo Sun - Oct 14, 2019 at 12:27PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

America's youngest diners are fueling the rise of this growing fast-food giant.

Earlier this year, a Morning Consult survey found that Gen Z adults (between the ages of 18 to 21) ranked Chick-fil-A as their favorite restaurant brand. Piper Jaffray's latest "Taking Stock with Teens" survey, which polled 9,500 teenagers with an average age of 15.8, also ranked Chick-fil-A as the top restaurant for that cohort.

Chart showing the top five restaurants for U.S. teens

Data source: Piper Jaffray. Chart by author.

Those results are alarming for bigger fast-food chains like McDonald's (MCD -0.09%) and Starbucks (SBUX 0.23%). Chick-fil-A already ranked third behind those two leaders in Nation's Restaurant News' annual list of the country's largest fast-food chains. Chick-fil-A's sales rose 17% to $10.5 billion in 2018, while Starbucks and McDonald's generated $20.5 billion and $38.5 billion, respectively, in domestic sales.

Chick-fil-A has grown its sales every year since it was founded in 1946, and Kalinowski Equity Research told Business Insider that its annual sales could eventually hit $30 billion, making it the second-largest fast-food chain in America. Chick-fil-A's rivals are fighting back with new chicken sandwiches, but the brand's strength -- even amid controversies about the company's opposition to same-sex marriage -- makes it a formidable rival in the fast-food market.

Leo Sun has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Chipotle Mexican Grill and Starbucks. The Motley Fool recommends Dunkin' Brands Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

McDonald's Corporation Stock Quote
McDonald's Corporation
$266.58 (-0.09%) $0.24
Starbucks Corporation Stock Quote
Starbucks Corporation
$88.55 (0.23%) $0.20

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/18/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.