A good rule of thumb to live by: don’t mess with the LGBT community, especially if you want make it in New York City. The anti-gay rights fried chicken franchise Chick-fil-A plans to come to NYC, reports USA Today, despite the fact that its values totally conflict with basically everything the city stands for. I have a bad feeling about this.
Dan Cathy, the franchise’s President and COO, told USA Today that the company will be opening 108 restaurants this year — a number of which will be located in New York City. They also plan on introduce healthier selections to their menu in an effort to market to a younger crowd, adding more antibiotic-free chicken, less high fructose corn syrup, and fewer artificial ingredients.
Another bullet on their agenda? Moving on from Cathy’s anti same-sex marriage comments made in 2012 — among other statements, the executive told the Baptist Press that his company supported "the biblical definition of the family unit," and he tweeted (and deleted) a comment about how the striking down of the Defense of Marriage Act meant a "sad day for our nation."
Now he feels differently…sort of. His personal views don't seem to have changed, but Cathy appears to regret getting himself (and his company) involved in the contentious debate to begin with. Last month, Cathy told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Every leader goes through different phases of maturity, growth and development and it helps by (recognizing) the mistakes that you make, and you learn from those mistakes. If not, you’re just a fool. I’m thankful that I lived through it and I learned a lot from it."
USA Today spotlights the company’s early attempts to attract younger customers and someday even members of the LGBTQ community. By smoothing over the 2012 controversy, Cathy hopes to clean up Chick-fil-A’s image and make it more Millennial-friendly. A task like that is easier said than done, especially in New York City. Councilman Daniel Dromm, who is openly gay, told the Huffington Post that the chain isn’t exactly welcome here, saying “We don’t need bigots coming to New York City. They are not welcome here unless they can embrace all of New York’s diverse community, including the LGBT community.”
Let’s recap: Chick-fil-A, a still anti-gay marriage fast food chain, wants to market to young people in New York City by pretending 2012 didn’t happen. Oh, and also by adding more anti-biotic free grilled chicken to the mix. That may have worked for Britney Spears, but as far as Chick-fil-A goes, I'm doubtful.
Not sure what the future holds for Chick-fil-A, but I'm curious to see what happens next.