Chick-fil-A told people to "eat mor chikin" - and they listened. Despite the fact that the restaurant is only open six days a week, the chain is now among the most profitable in the country. The company claimed $10.46 billion in system-wide sales last year - a 16.7 percent increase - moving it from the No. 7 spot to No. 3 among restaurant chains.
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McDonald's maintained the top spot with $38.52 billion in sales, according to an annual report from Nation's Restaurant News. Starbucks came in second with $20.49 billion. The numbers for Chick-fil-A are monumental, considering both chains have approximately 14,000 U.S. locations each, while Chick-fil-A has just over 2,000.
"I would be suprised if they didn't double that in the not-too-distant future," Kalinowski Equity Research founder Mark Kalinowski told Business Insider. "Can they reach $30 billion? I think that's also a realistic goal if you give them enough time. And that should put them ahead of Starbucks."
Chick-fil-A brings in more money than popular fast food joints like Subway, Taco Bell, Burger King and Wendy's, although consumers claim that the fresh, never-frozen fast food giant is their second favorite. Chick-fil-A even surpasses sit-down restaurants including Applebee's, Chili's, Olive Garden and more. We're not entirely surprised though. Some say that Chick-fil-A's prized chicken sandwich is practically synonymous with some of the best fried chicken in America.