Why Is Chick-Fil-A So Expensive? Explained (2023)

Last Updated on December 31, 2022 by Lauren Beck

Chick-Fil-A is a fast-food chain that has been growing in the US. Although it is a popular fast-food restaurant, many people claim that its prices are higher than those of other fast-food chains.

But why is Chick-Fil-A so expensive? Is it really worth it? 

Top 10 Reasons Why Chick-Fil-A is Too Costly 

1. Organic Supplies

Chick-Fil-A chicken doesn’t use steroids, hormones, or chemicals for their poultry market to grow faster and bigger. 

To maintain its ethical standards, Chick-Fil-A has been moving away from using animals that have been raised and preserved in backhanded ways. Chick-Fil-A concentrates on carefully monitoring its suppliers to ensure that those standards are maintained.

Chick-Fil-A restaurant also ensures that its vegetables and fruits are grown and produced organically in well-maintained Chick-Fil-A locations. This practice has allowed the restaurant to introduce organic items to its meal menu, not just the chicken and chicken sandwiches.

Furthermore, they also started using only natural and organic ingredients in their packaging. 

This practice comes at a huge cost, and customers have to pay extra to eat food that’s both safe and delicious.

2. Fresh Ingredients

Chick-Fil-A uses only the freshest ingredients for their meals, particularly in their chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets (even grilled nuggets), and other chicken and vegetable-based menu. Their food is made with nutritious ingredients that are sure to make everyone feel satisfied.

Chick-Fil-A’s salad, chicken sandwiches, chicken, and various other fresh ingredients are always prepared to order so that they can be delivered fresh to their customers. They also make fruit cup preparations that are ready-to-eat and other beverages.

Some ingredients are delivered daily, so they don’t need to be stored in the refrigerator. Also, their quality chicken is not frozen and cooked fresh whenever possible.

Chick-Fil-A’s menu is also relatively lean since they only use a small number of ingredients to ensure that their food is made with the best possible raw ingredients. 

The cost of fresh food requires more money because it needs a lot of maintenance.

3. Specially-Sourced Foods

Chick-Fil-A focuses on providing a consistent supply of ingredients to give its customers the best possible taste. If necessary, the restaurant will pay extra to maintain the taste of their products, particularly the Chick-Fil-A sandwich, salad, chicken nuggets, fried chicken, etc., even for delivery orders. 

Chick-Fil-A sit-down restaurant [1] prefers white meat and real chicken over any other type of food. This is because the demand for such is higher. They also use potatoes from Washington, with unique minerals that provide a distinct taste.

Moreover, Sunkist provides the perfect companion to your fried chicken by supplying the lemons needed for the lemonade. 

Fun fact: Chick-Fil-A is Sunkist’s biggest customer.

4. Expensive Labor

Fast food restaurants are not immune from the rising cost of labor. However, Chick-Fil-A is different from other establishments when it comes to paying their employees. 

Contrary to popular belief, Chick-Fil-A doesn’t pay its employees low wages as they pay their workers higher than the average. 

In most parts of the country, they pay their cashiers around $8 to $11 an hour. Particularly, team leaders are also highly paid, with some earning up to $15 an hour. 

If you’ve been to Chick-Fil-A, you know that their employees are dedicated to making the lines move quickly to have customers order and eat what they want in the most efficient way. 

Their drive-thru may have up to five workers outside to keep it moving smoothly. And since this type of fast food establishment has two drive-thrus, it needs more staff, adding to the labor cost. 

Also, two to four employees are needed to take orders and collect payment. There may be more people outside the store to distribute the orders. Also, they pay the managers, staff, maintenance, and many more, adding to the labor costs.  

5. High Demand

The price of menu items goes up or down according to the supply and higher demand. It means the higher the demand, the higher the real cost would be– greatly contributing to the prices (but also more revenue on their end). 

Also, Chick-Fil-A relies on the premium ingredients it uses for its food items, typically more expensive than those purchased by other chains or fast food restaurants like Burger King, Taco Bell, and many more. So, they need more supply, which is costly, making their expenses higher. 

6. Unlimited Sauces

Chick-Fil-A doesn’t like to scrimp on its sauce line. With that in mind, customers can request more than one helping of the restaurant’s various dressings. The various sauces offered by Chick-Fil-A include:

  • Honey Roasted BBQ
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Graden Herb Ranch Sauce
  • Polynesian Sauce
  • Chick-Fil-A Sauce
  • Honey Mustard Sauce
  • Zesty Buffalo Sauce
  • Sweet and Spicy Sriracha Sauce

Though you won’t be charged directly for the sauces, the cost is incorporated into the meal price, so you’ll end up paying more.

7. High Level of Customer Service

Chick-fil-A employee wear mask and glove packing food for customers

For years, Chick-Fil-A has been regarded as one of the most successful fast-food restaurants [2] in the country, with chicken and chicken sandwich as their main menu. Its customer care is second to none. This is because the restaurant takes the time to listen and address the needs of its customers.

Besides providing its customers with the best possible experience, Chick-Fil-A also aims to give its franchisees the necessary training and experience to ensure they can provide their customers with the same level of service. This is an asset that pays off in the long run.

8. Employee Benefits

In addition to being known for its high-quality wages, Chick-Fil-A provides its employees with various benefits. These can vary depending on their employment status.

Chick-Fil-A’s benefits package can include health insurance, life insurance, and dental insurance. The company believes providing these perks and benefits can help its employees stay with the organization for a long time and eventually reduce the turnover rate.

Being able to provide employee benefits can help improve the customer service they provide. The managers are able to participate in the chain’s profit-sharing program. 

Their paid holidays and sick leave help employees get some time away from work. It can also help them feel better about themselves since they know they will receive the full amount of leave. Even the part-time workers can benefit from Chick-Fil-A’s various benefits.

Chick-Fil-A employees likewise receive free drinks while on the job. They can additionally enjoy free meals while they’re working. When they’re not working, they can enjoy the company’s discounts on food for their friends and family.

9. Extensive Training

Training is one of the most expensive factors in an employee’s onboarding process. At Chick-Fil-A, they provide hands-on training for new employees. This method eliminates the need for training videos and manuals. Most Chick-Fil-A employees spend at least a week learning how to do the job.

They also customize training programs to ensure employees are a good fit for their position. Having their employees spend more time on training can result in higher labor costs.

10. Philanthropic Deeds

Research conducted in 2010 revealed that the Chick-Fil-A restaurant imposed higher prices on their products due to their donations and philanthropic activities. 

Tips To Save Money At Chick-Fil-A 

  • Value meals are often cheaper than regular meals. They contain various ingredients and are often accompanied by a drink, chicken sandwich, or fries (or waffle fries). 
  • We suggest you download the Chick-Fil-A app to check the prices before going to the restaurant. This will enable you to monitor all of your meals (e.g. chicken, sandwich, nuggets) and make sure that you don’t overpay.
  • You can register for a free rewards program and earn points for every purchase.
  • You can find coupons for Chick-Fil-A in newspapers and other publications or through your email. You can use them to pay less. 


Is Chick-fil-A more expensive than McDonald’s?

Yes, Chick-Fil-A is more expensive than Mcdonald’s. However, Chick-Fil-A offers slightly cheap prices on their Chick-Fil-A nuggets, sandwich, and fries compared to Mcdonald’s. 

When did Chick-fil-A prices go up?

Chick-Fil-A menu prices went up after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country. Chick-Fil-A secretly marked up their food prices and delivery fee by up to 30% in 2021. 

Final Words 

Although Chick-Fil-A’s prices are higher than an average fast-food restaurant, they are reasonable in certain cases. For instance, the quality of their chicken and the level of customer care are some of the factors that justify their prices.

Other contributors to why Chick-Fil-A is so expensive include the recovery of lost sales and the costs of opening new stores.


Lauren Beck
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