Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
20 November 2019
Chick-fil-A brand opens its arms to the LGBTQ community. Do we believe it?
Chick-fil-A announced this week that it is ending its relationship with the Salvation Army and Fellowship for Christian Athletes. Both groups are known to be anti-LGBTQ, receiving about $1.8 million dollars from Chick-fil-A. This is a surprise as the Chick-fil-A brand has long been known for having strong conservative values, closing on Sunday.
Recently, protesters targeted Chick-fil-A at its first Toronto location, and it’s been barred from the San Antonio and Buffalo airports due to its stance. Now it seems that backlash from the LGBTQ community and others is prompting Chick-fil-A to rethink its charitable giving strategy.
The Chick-fil-A brand, one of the strongest in the fast food industry, now focuses on three giving areas: Education, homelessness and hunger, committing $9 million to groups focused on those issues.
I for one am glad to see the change.
But what does this mean for the Chick-fil-A brand?
“Perhaps the Chick-fil-A brand has in fact changed. If so, the brand will be better for it.”
Chick-fil-A brand must fulfill its new promise
In the aggregate, it seems a bit disingenuous for the Chick-fil-A brand. While I never agreed with its stance towards the LGBTQ community, I did find the chain principled in what it believed in. Now there is a part of me that feels like their principles only go so far or it is making this announcement to placate the LGBTQ community while their underlying attitudes remain intact.
It just feels a bit hard to believe that the company all of a sudden had a woke moment. Consider this. In 2012, it said that it was going to cut ties with anti-LGBTQ groups only to give money to anti-LGBTQ groups.
People’s attitudes about things do change. Things are constantly happening to change our perspectives and opinions and organizational ethos are no different. Perhaps the Chick-fil-A brand has in fact changed. If so, the brand will be better for it.
But if this is just window dressing, people will see through it pretty quickly and, unlike in 2012, I don’t think people will be so forgiving.
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