Chick-fil-A Remains No. 1 Despite Cathy Controversy

by Rob Keys  on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012 9:36 am  

A summertime controversy hasn’t diminished Northwest Arkansas’ appetite for Chick-fil-A.

That’s according to the 1 percent hotel-motel-restaurant tax collected by the Bentonville and Fayetteville advertising & promotion commissions. Data from both is used to calculate revenue for restaurants in both cities and rank their respective eateries.

Chick-fil-A’s Northwest Village location in Fayetteville pulled in $3.7 million to lead all of the city’s restaurants in 2011, while its Bentonville store reported $2.81 million the same year. That was higher than any other Bentonville restaurant.

Despite the controversy over comments made by president and COO Dan Cathy concerning gay marriage in July, Chick-fil-A is on track to claim the top spots in Bentonville and Fayetteville in 2012.

The Northwest Village location leads all Fayetteville restaurants with more than $3.4 million in revenue from December 2011-September 2012. The Bentonville store, meanwhile, leads all that city’s restaurants with more than $2.3 million in revenue through the first nine months of 2012.

Neither store saw year-over-year dips in July, when some groups called for consumers to boycott Chick-fil-A. In fact, July revenue was up 7.2 percent in at the Northwest Village store and 5.2 percent at the Bentonville store.

In August, when former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee prompted a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” the Bentonville store reported $300,004, its highest total since opening in 2008. The Northwest Village store reported $387,563 in revenue, its highest total in at least three years.

Chartwells Dining, the University of Arkansas cafeteria, is intentionally excluded from the current list of top revenue-producing restaurants in the city, as are Penguin Ed’s Barbeque and Rick’s Bakery. Penguin Ed’s combines revenues from its three locations, and Rick’s Bakery’s primary business is not that of a restaurant.

In Bentonville, Eurest Dining, the Walmart home office cafeteria, is intentionally excluded. It had revenue of $5.93 million. Also excluded are Sam’s Club and Walmart Supercenter Deli.



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