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What Does It Take To Land A Chick-fil-A In Defiance?

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

By Erika Willitzer (Featured in The Crescent-News) Who doesn't love the delicious chicken sandwiches and waffle fries from Chick-fil-A? I’ve often dreamt of having Chick-fil-A in Defiance County, Ohio, and I know you have too! One of the biggest requests our office has received over the years is to get a Chick-fil-A. And as much as I would love to snap my fingers and get you one, it’s not that easy. It requires someone with a whole lot of integrity, vision, and work ethic to step up for our community. Is that you? I’m not going to sugarcoat this. Becoming a Chick-fil-A Operator isn’t impossible, but it does require extreme dedication. But hey, you know what they say. “No Risk…No Reward.”

Here are the Top 10 things it takes to become a Chick-fil-A Franchise Operator. We sure hope there is someone out there that reads this and says “YES, this is my new career goal!”

1.) It’s a lengthy and intense process to become a franchise owner. It takes anywhere from 18 to 24 months and there are still no guarantees you’ll be selected, as only a small percentage of candidates are selected. According to Chick-fil-A’s website, their founder, Truett Cathy always maintained he wasn’t in the chicken business, but the people business. Cathy viewed his business as more than a source of revenue for him and his family; it was a source of encouragement to others. This is the type of leader Chick-fil-A is looking for. Is this you? If so, keep reading.

2.) You will be required to provide your personal financials, which show a solid history of good stewardship. The initial franchise fee to open a Chick-fil-A restaurant is $10,000. You may be thinking,” That seems pretty reasonable compared to other franchise fees.” It is-in fact, according to NerdWallet, Chick-fil-A’s franchise fee is half of what their closest competitor charges. This lower financial requirement is one reason why this franchise attracts so many applicants. While the entry cost is less, Chick-fil-A closes the difference with their ongoing fees. Since Chick-fil-A covers most of your startup costs, including equipment, they will charge you a regular equipment leasing fee on top of their 15% cut of restaurant sales. Also keep in mind that since Chick-fil-A still owns the real estate, you do not own any equity. You cannot sell the restaurant or pass it down to anyone upon retiring. This could be an advantage, as many restaurants close their doors following retirement.

3.) Restaurant experience isn’t a requirement, but passion for the restaurant industry is a MUST!

4.) Chick-fil-A’s corporate office picks the locations based on a growth strategy, but they always have a local focus, so if your hometown has the right metrics, there is a good chance, they will try to make your hometown a fit. As the Economic Developer of Defiance County, I know with our growth metrics, we would be a great candidate for a Chic-fil-A in Defiance.

5.) Franchisee owners may have to dissolve other LLCs to devote full-time efforts to the new restaurant venture.

6.) Initial agreements are one owner – one store. They do this so, all focus is on the one store/one community, it gives the franchise owner time to build their business and standards, and also their leadership team.

7.) There is no guarantee of financial gain, but Chick-fil-A does provide you with all the tools to be successful.

8.) Success is determined by the franchisee, and it’s important to note, this isn’t a passive adventure. This will be a “daily” intentional effort with servant leadership at the forefront. It’s a common occurrence where Chick-fil-A’s will have their franchise operators cleaning, directing traffic, and so on. It’s not a suggestion to get into the trenches with your team, it is a requirement.

9.) This is a 24/7 position – that will require full-on dedication to the business.

10.) AND…this is a Total Life Investment. Chick-fil-A will be in your DNA – Remember, they sell chicken to pay the bills, but the business is a people business.

So, after reading, do you still have what it takes for this franchise opportunity? If so, make sure to visit:, you’ll watch several videos of current operators, talking about how it was one of the best decisions of their lives. Mainly because it has given them the opportunity to make a difference in so many others.

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