In the United States, activist groups are constantly criticizing Chick-Fil-A and their stance on social issues like gay marriage, but the chain, for the most part, continues to thrive.
Not so much in the United Kingdom, though.
Just days after the October 10th opening of the pilot location just outside of London, the first location in the United Kingdom, it has been announced that the location will not remain open past its 6 month pilot period. A representative from The Oracle shopping center, in which the location is situated, has said of the decision, “it’s the right thing to do.”
This decision was made in reaction to protests by LGBTQ activists. Reading Pride, a local activist group, took to Twitter to call for a boycott of the new UK location, stating the anti-gay sentiments of the founder and donations to anti-gay organizations, such as the “kill the gays” campaign in Uganda, as grounds for criticism.
Dozens of protestors showed up to the Reading location bearing signs saying “Get the chick out! Say no to bigotry and hatred on your High Street.” In addition to the in-person protest, Twitter users also showed their solidarity with the protest efforts by engaging on Twitter.
Although Chick Fil A continues to dominate the fast-food market in the United States, this inability to withstand protests in the United Kingdom signals a potential difficulty in expanding their empire on a global scale.
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Hannah Michelle Lambert is the Digital Marketer at Worthix where she leads all things social, conversion, and nurture. She cut her teeth at the intersection of Customer Experience and SaaS technology and is passionate about innovative, customer-centric marketing strategies. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and current resident of Atlanta.