If there is one restaurant that people wish could open seven days a week, it has to be Chick-Fil-A; it has proven that customer experience is the ultimate goal hence the ever-growing customer base. Unfortunately, its founder, Truett Cathy, decided it was best to open from Monday to Saturday and allow his employees to rest and worship on Sunday. Regardless, closing one day does not affect its sale; in 2015, it sold around $3.1 million per store, beating KFC’s $960,000 average per its US stores. His son, Dan Cathy, the current CEO of the restaurant, is worth billions of dollars thanks to Truett’s entrepreneurial spirit. Still, most loyal customers barely know the meaning behind the Chick-Fil-A logo, which has undergone a few changes since the first store was opened. Let’s tell you more about how your favorite place to dine got its current name and logo.
The origin of Chick-Fil-A
After being discharged from the army, Truett Cathy thought it wise to utilize the opportunity he saw; a Ford plant had lots of employees that needed to be fed. Therefore in 1946, Truett and Ben, his brother, opened a restaurant near the auto plant and named it “Dwarf Grill.” Unfortunately, his brother died in an accident, leaving Truett to operate the business on his own. He renamed the restaurant “Dwarf House.” The idea of making a sandwich from chicken came from watching his customers use the roll and chicken to make sandwiches; hence Truett made the work easier by making it for them.
However, being the creative man he was, in 1961, Truett discovered a new way to make chicken breasts using the same amount of time it takes to make a fast-food burger. He pressure-cooked the hand-breaded and perfectly seasoned chicken breasts in peanut oil before serving them on toasted butter buns and two pickles; the only condiments available in the restaurant then. The new item on the menu became his customers’ favorite, and by then, all he could think of calling it was “Chicken steak sandwich.” Truett even wanted to trademark the name given the success. According to Business Insider, an attorney told him he needed to distinguish it, whether it is by misspelling a word or turning it.
Truett was not giving up on finding the ideal name or new product; hence after much thought, he realized that since fillets refer to the best beef cuts, his boneless chicken breasts could also borrow the name. Consequently, he came up with “chicken fillet.” Moreover, Truett also knew that the chicken was top quality grade A selection; thus, he also added the “A.” Nice Branding Agency, in its article about the branding lessons we can learn from the restaurant, “Grade A” could refer to the exceptional quality of service that Truett was determined to extend to the customers. With that new development, the business name changed to “Chick-Fil-A,” and Truett registered it in 1963.
The evolution of the logo
In 2012, Louie Giglio posted on Twitter that his father created the Chick-Fil-A logo in 1964. It is said that Louie Giglio collaborated with Evan Armstrong to come up with the logo. As per some sources, the first logo was Doodles, the rooster, in which all the letters were in uppercase with the first “D” and ” S” a bit bigger. The “S” was not the conventional letter; it was designed with the upper curve being the roosters head, complete with the eyes, beak, and comb. However, most sources do not recognize it to be the restaurant’s first logo.
The first design was drawn on a napkin in 1967 and became the restaurant’s symbol from 1967 to 1970. It entailed only the head of a rooster, which appeared to be smiling and was drawn in black except for the comb and wattle that were red. Next to the smiling chicken head were the words “Chick-Fil-A” with “Chick” and “fil” in black while the hyphens and letter ” A” were all in red. The “A” also was written like a grade you would except in academic papers.
In 1970, the logo changed again; the stand-alone chicken head was done away with and incorporated in the restaurant’s name. As a result, the letter “C” in Chick-Fil-A was designed to curve inwards at the top to make a head. The eye and comb were red this time the comb looked like four toes, and the beak resembled that of a parrot. The letter “A” was changed its font to look like the rest of the letters; it was in black. In 1985, a little change happened; it is barely noticeable, but the only adjustment was in the shade of red used in the eyes and comb.
Doing away with black
For a long time, since the first version of the logo, Chick-Fil-A had used red and black, but in 1986, they did away entirely with the black and stuck with red. In 1996, the beak and comb were removed as per Chicken Wire. Also the font changed but in 1996, the logo was tweaked to incorporate the beak and comb.
In 2012, Chick-Fil-A once again changed their mind about their logo. It was time for an upgrade, and they tasked RBMM with the job. They did not want an abrupt change to avoid customer confusion, so RBMM, while also trying to help the restaurant keep its transition costs low, ensured there was very change. The main change was in the chicken’s beak; instead of the smiling parrot beak it had used for over 40 years, the beak was changed to look more like a chicken’s. The comb also had minimal tweaking to appear a bit more upright. Finally, the thickness of the letters was reduced to make it more legible and a bit modern. Since 2012, the logo has remained the same.