Chick-fil-A just laid claim to being US teens’ restaurant chain of choice. Surprised? You might not be the only one. The chicken chain seems like a far cry from trendy, splashy brands such as McDonald’s and Taco Bell. Here’s how the restaurant managed to muscle its way to the top without trend-tapping or movie-making.
Chick-fil-A puts its best foot forward on social media, leading on YouTube with 94 million views during the study period for Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Restaurants. Its “Mornings Worth Sharing” video earned 24 million views, thanks in part to significant spend. The creative also appeared on popular channels like REACT and Grace Helbig, demonstrating a concerted effort on Chick-fil-A’s part to promote itself to a wide variety of audiences—especially teens.
While many brands struggle with franchising, Chick-fil-A maintains a tight grip over its branches by supporting them with substantial digital investments. In fact, the brand launched its largest restaurant to date earlier this year. At five stories tall and capped off with a rooftop deck, the restaurant stands as a beacon of Chick-fil-A’s consistency and success so far. Online, the fried chicken brand’s site includes visual ingredient breakdowns to highlight the simplicity and freshness of its produce and meals. Food content can help customers make purchase decisions, something Chick-fil-A leverages to address concerns surrounding processed food served in quick serve chains.
Though Chick-fil-A still has room for improvement when it comes to its digital offerings, earning a place in teens’ hearts and stomachs is a huge milestone for the brand. If the brand is looking to rise up the restaurant ranks, there might be a spot opening up where Papa Johns once roosted.