Update, November 20, 2019: After Chick-fil-A announced changes to its charitable giving program, i.e. that it would stop giving money to organizations that had taken explicit stances against LGBTQ rights, many critics suspected the chain’s motives were not completely pure. After all, Chick-fil-A had come out the resounding loser in this year’s chicken sandwich war against Popeyes.
But Chick-fil-A swears that this is not the case at all, and it would like people to stop thinking it is. Business Insider has confirmed—with documentation!—that Chick-fil-A had been planning the changes in its giving policy long before Popeyes launched its chicken sandwich nationwide in August. It noted that neither the Salvation Army nor the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the two questionable organizations, appear on the Chick-fil-A Foundation’s list of 2019 donations (though this won’t be confirmed for sure until the foundation files its 2019 tax returns), which seems to indicate that the change has been in the works for a while.
Instead, it seems that Chick-fil-A executives were more swayed by the negative reception the company has received during its efforts to expand into airports and college campuses and into more urban areas, including a protest that involved a Zamboni machine at a hockey game. Protests also thwarted the chain’s efforts to establish itself in the U.K. Chick-fil-A sees itself as “a restaurant company that’s focused on influence, really great food, really great service,” in the words of its vice-president of external communications. Executives felt that this was being overshadowed by its reputation for supporting homophobia. Rodney Bullard, the head of the Chick-fil-A Foundation, told Business Insider that the company wanted to focus on non-religious youth programs that were “relevant and impactful in the community. For us, that’s a much higher calling than any political or cultural war that’s being waged.”
Now can’t we all just sit down and eat chicken together (except on Sunday)?