When Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy made remarks last summer regarding his beliefs on marriage, he sparked outrage across the country as gay rights activists and members of the LGBT community fired back, calling him out for the statements.
Cathy said that he and his company–which is rooted firmly in Christian values and keeps all stores closed on Sundays–are “very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives”, adding “we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.”
His words led to immediate backlash and even created protests staged at some of the restaurants, where there were also “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation” and “National Same-Sex Kiss” days set up in response.
But despite the chain of events that Cathy set off with his remarks, the company hasn’t suffered, according to sales data. In fact, they actually saw a spike in sales, pulling in a whopping $4.6 billion in 2012, compared to $4.1. billion the year before. And while the company has laid fairly low after the incident–only stepping forward a few times to comment on Cathy’s remarks or thank their customers through social media–some think they handled it just the right way. And despite the backlash, the ever-growing company offers up dozens of new jobs every time they expand, which is always welcome in communities.
“I think the flap last summer will not have any effect at all long term,” said Georgeia State University professor Ken Bernhardt. “When they open stores, they hire 50 or 60 people and that is good for the community. That means jobs.”