The implicit whiteness of Chick-fil-A: A racial breakdown of the cities where the 196 Georgia Chick-fil-A’s are located

PK Note: A spreadsheet breakdown of the 190+ Georgia Chick-fil-A (with the white and Black percentage of the city/zip code they reside in) locations is available here. It breaks down the racial dynamics of each city in Georgia where Chick-fil-A has locations. Places of businesses (like Colony Square in Midtown) and hospital locations weren’t counted, since they draw a different racial dynamic then the city they are reside in. I’ll try and go into more detailed analysis like HW did over at OD. I plan on going back in and plotting the dynamics of the zip code for each store. In time, this project will be completely nationwide.

An implicit white company

The Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A fast food company is in the news today, with supporters around the nation flocking to the more than 1500 locations nationwide to show their support for the embattled organization.

“Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” is August 1, set for “conservatives” (who confuse Christian theology as axiomatically conservative principle) to show those radical liberals pushing gay marriage a thing or two about collective consumer power from the “right.”

In reality, Chick-fil-A is company that is entirely wedded to a business model completely reliant on serving communities with strong social capital and a thriving middle-class. Yes, the religious aspect is important, but it is the concept of community (as Harvard sociologist Robert Putnam begrudgingly told us, communities can only thrive when trust and high social capital are present; i.e., a lack of diversity) that is fundamentally at the heart of the Truett Cathy’s enterprise.

Cathy, whose family lived in the first public housing unit in America (Techwood Public Housing, built in 1936 in Atlanta), was and continues to be the driving force behind the incredible rise of Chick-Fil-A.

Interestingly, once Techwood Public Housing integrated (and the whites fled), it became the poster child for “urban blight” and one of the highest crime areas in Atlanta. Of course, it was 99 percent Black – luckily, it was torn down and the Black residents scattered across metro Atlanta to alleviate the problem of centralized criminality, but do you expect an entrepreneur of the caliber of Truett Cathy ever came from 99 percent Black Techwood Public Housing?

Black percentage of areas where Chick-fil-A has restaurants in Georgia

An article from the St. Petersburg Times in 2002 (Chicken with a conscience;Chick-fil-A, the No. 2 fast-food chicken chain, builds its brand on both its business principles and family values, by Scott Barancik) points out the driving force behind Chick-fil-A’s growth, but also points that three stores in the Nelson Mandela’s rainbow nation of South Africa had been forced to close:

Their company, Chick-fil-A Inc., is the country’s No. 2 fast-food chicken chain, with 1,055 restaurants and $1.2-billion in revenues last year. Another 500 stores are planned by 2006. Even Warren Buffett stopped by the Atlanta company’s offices recently for a chat. 

 But Chick-fil-A has a higher calling than just chicken. “We’re here to glorify God,” said president Dan Cathy, who was in town this week to celebrate the opening of a $2-million store in Oldsmar. 

 Since 1967, Chick-fil-A has juggled profit and prayer. Founder and CEO Truett Cathy, Dan Cathy’s 81-year-old father, makes no bones about the fact that it’s a company built on Christian principles. Chick-fil-A is the only major fast-food chain that is closed on Sundays. It spends millions each year on foster care homes, college scholarships and summer camps. Prayer is not unwelcome at the company’s headquarters or stores. 

 “I see no conflict between biblical principles and good business practice,” Truett Cathy told NBC Nightly News in July. 

  Ethics and charity are not the only arrows in Chick-fil-A’s quiver. QSR Magazine recently ranked its drive-through service No. 1 in the industry. It is using cash, not loans, to finance its current growth plan, though it still has some bank debts left over from the 1990s. It possesses one of the better known icons in the fast-food world: a cartoon cow who humorously tries to save his own skin by encouraging customers to “eat mor chikin’.” (Chick-fil-A does not serve hamburgers.) 

 Except for a couple hundred licensed stores in airports and on college campuses, Chick-fil-A owns its restaurants. Each one is run by a separate operator who shares the profits, but not the equity, with the chain. Operators like Gus Mir, who runs a store in Lakeland, put up a refundable $5,000 investment and are guaranteed a minimum income of $30,000 per year. The chain takes 15 percent of the gross revenue and half the profit. The average operator of a mall store earns roughly $70,000 a year, Dan Cathy said, while operators of stand-alone restaurants typically earn double that.  Cathy said his opposition to franchising is simple. He’d rather do business with a hungry entrepreneur than a wealthy investor who is unwilling to “interview 16-year-olds.”

In Cathy’s book, “Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People,” we learn quickly what type of operator of a restaurant he hopes to work with (p. v):

Truett Cathy’s loyalty to Chick-fil-A restaurant Operators is evident in the selection process. “We don’t select or even seriously consider an Operator unless we want the individual to be with us until one of us dies or retires,” he says.

 On p. 97-98 of that book, we learn this:

“We expect our Operators to abide by several tenets that we adhere to:

  • People want to work with a person, not for a company.
  • Each new Operator is committed to a single restaurant.
  • Operators will hold no outside employment or business interest.
  • We choose Operators for their ability and their influence, so we want them in their restaurants.
  • We expect quality interaction between Operators and team members.
  • We expect quality interaction between Operators and customers, both in the restaurant and in the community.”
Finally, on p. 111-112, Mr. Cathy explains:

“Most (Operators)…feel that this is more than just a job. They feel either a divine call or the satisfaction of a desire to make a difference in the world. They contribute greatly to the development of teenagers who work in our restaurants, creating a wholesome atmosphere in which to work and modeling positive leadership traits that teenagers will take into their adult lives. Our Operators consider themselves to be mentors to the next generation.”

White percentage of areas where Chick-fil-A has restaurants in Georgia

 Chick-fil-A isn’t McDonald’s; it isn’t Burger King. It certainly isn’t Coca-Cola (I’d hope a piece was up at to explain this in greater detail – perhaps soon), which has no problem what a community looks like that it peddles it products in, as long as the consumers there can purchase an abundant amount of Coca-Cola; Chick-fil-A Owners/Operators are the type of people who are instrumental in building solid communities and as serving as leaders and uniting their towns.

Whereas McDonald’s is one of the world’s largest owners of real estate, the surrounding values of the neighborhood (and strength of those communities) and overall property value is nothing compared to the locations where Chick-fil-A carefully selects to move into and serve.
Interestingly, Chick-fil-A corporate Web site ( actually has a store locator function where you can look up the location of restaurants.
Texas has the most locations (263). Naturally, Georgia has the second most Chick-fil-A locations (196), with North Carolina, Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, Maryland, California, Tennessee, Virginia, and Pennsylvania all having more than 50 stores.
Looking at the location of Georgia’s 196 locations (those that were first opened in Clayton County when it was 90 percent white in the 1980s are outliers, with Riverdale, Jonesboro, Morrow, and Forest Park heavily Black and those that were “grandfathered in” in East Point); the restaurant – in some cases a fabled “Dwarf House” being remnants of past civilization while the surrounding area becomes littered with liquor, Title Loan stores, and pawn shops), it is striking how those “thriving communities with high social capital” that Chick-fil-A Owners/Operators invest are incredibly and overwhelmingly white.
By controlling for certain variables (hospitals weren’t counted; nor were malls, considering that they have a tendency to go from catering to a majority white clientele to a majority Black clientele in a matter of years) it became a comedy of errors in seeing where Chick-fil-A decides to open up stores.
Some highlights:

  •   Small Dawsonville, Georgia (population 619 according to the 2000 census) can have a Chick-fil-A;  of course, the city is 97 percent white and zero percent Black.
  • Georgia’s population breakdown is 55.9 percent white and 30.5 percent Black.
  • 137 restaurants were located in majority-white areas. 
  • 16 restaurants were located in majority-Black areas, with 75 percent of those in cities that were majority white when the restaurant was constructed. 
  •  Despite the famed Historically Black Colleges and Universites (HBCU) located in Atlanta, only one Georgia HBCU has a Chick-fil-A –- Albany State. Georgia Tech (62 percent white, 6 percent Black); UGA (80 percent white, 8 percent Black); West Georgia (78 percent white, 20 percent Black); Valdosta State (76 percent white, 20 percent Black; Berry College (92 percent white, 1 percent Black); Kennesaw State (69 percent white, 13 percent Black); and Mercer University in Macon (72 percent white, 17 percent Black).
  •  Hiram, Georgia, a town that is 60 percent white and 40 percent Black, has a Chick-fil-A location opened in zip code 30141 – which is 91 percent white and 7 percent Black.
  •   A Chick-fil-A location opened in zip code 30341 (which is 85 percent white and .84 Black), is located in Clayton County… a county that is roughly 70 percent Black.
  •  The majority of the Fulton County Chick-fil-A’s (outside of hospital or one at Georgia State University) are in North Fulton; an area that is overwhelmingly white.
  • Chick-fil-A locations thrive in Alpharetta (72 percent white, 11 percent Black), with four separate locations; Peachtree City (87 percent white, 6 percent Black) with three locations; McDonough (76 percent white, 19 percent Black) with three locations; Roswell (81 percent white, 9 percent Black) with two locations; Kennesaw (64 percent white, 22 percent Black) with three locations; Flowery Branch (80 percent white, 10 percent Black) with two locations; Fayetteville (77 percent white, 20 percent Black) with two locations; Snellville (89 percent white, 5 percent Black) with two locations; Suwanne (84 percent white, 6 percent Black); and Newnan (84 percent white, 12 percent Black) with two locations.
  •    The Chick-fil-A in majority Black Madison, Georgia is located in a zip code (30650) that is 64 percent white and 34 percent Black).
  • Strangely, few majority Black areas (virtually none in South Fulton County, and only one – Lithonia – in a majority Black zip code in DeKalb County) have Chick-fil-A’s.

 The question has to be asked now, based on the empirical evidence we have garnered from a look at the 196 Chick-fil-A locations in Georgia (wait, we forgot the one at Greenbriar Mall in DeKalb County, one of the oldest Chick-fil-A locations that closed — because the mall went all-Black. When it opened in the late 1970s, the county was roughly 75 percent white… now it’s only 35 percent white):
Is the business model of Chick-fil-A…. racist? Does it conform to the methodology that Steve Sailer laid out in his concept of the Affordable Family Formation (cities with Chick-fil-A’s tend to actually have thriving communities)? Should the Department of Justice look into the locations of Chick-fil-A’s because of some sort of disparate impact in where they open, considering that the clientele that Owners/Operators tend to cater too is overwhelmingly white?
Chick-fil-A is reliant on strong communities (which, coincidentally, means white communities) to exist and prosper. Outside of Chick-fil-A’s in areas that went from majority white to majority Black (thus, grandfathered in), the company has a business model that can be accurately described as “racist” – using modern parlance –and shouldn’t just be under assault because of the companies stance on homosexual marriage.
As I noted in Chick-fil-A, Coca-Cola, and Cobb County over at Vdare, the cultural wars were already over in the 1990s, largely because people didn’t realize the importance of the so-called “right” needing to actually fight back.
Seeing how “conservatives” have rallied around Chick-fil-A today is interesting, because it showcases how they could actually win — and win quickly if they dared defend their interests.
But it is the inherent racial reality of Chick-fil-A that will becoming increasingly important to recognize in the coming years —  those cities and communities with Chick-fil-A’s are the ones that have an abundance of social capital, precisely because trust and cohesion (low crime, good schools, clean streets — all things that white America produces) exist.
The tenets that Cathy expects Chick-fil-A Owners/Operators to live by are not the same values of Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Burger King, Arby’s or other fast food companies that peddle poison to consumers and who care little for the community they serve.
Coca-Cola versus Chick-fil-A… it is the values that drive these two companies that underscores the battle against Black-Run America (BRA). 

A true defense of Chick-fil-A is a defense of the communities that the Owners/Operators choose to do business in; based on the analysis of the 196 locations in Georgia, they look like an America that is quickly dying; replaced with communities that have virtually no social capital. 

Racial Breakdown of the Cites in Georgia Where Chick-fil-A Operates Stores



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