Chick-fil-A is now on pace to become the third-largest fast-food chain in the nation in terms of sales by 2020 – behind only McDonald’s and Starbucks.
The chicken chain was ranked eighth in a 2017 report from QSR magazine, behind McDonald’s, Starbucks, Subway, Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell and Dunkin’ Donuts.
“The trajectory we’re on would support that,” a Chick-fil-A spokesman told Buzzfeed News in response to findings by restaurant consultancy firm Technomic.
According to the QSR 50 rankings, the average Chick-fil-A already takes in $4.4 million annually per unit, a figure that dwarfs its nearest competitor, Whataburger, which takes in $2.7 million per unit per year.
The average McDonald’s and Starbucks pull in $2.5 million and $1.1 million, respectively. Chick-fil-A, however, only boasts a fraction of the revenue-generating locations as McDonald’s and Starbucks.
The company says it intends to continue to drive sales via its mobile-ordering platforms, introduced in its busier locations, and an app introduced in 2014. In addition, the chain has been expanding, with locations in 47 of the 50 states, the Atlanta Business Journal reported in 2017.
News of Technomic’s findings comes days after Chick-fil-A opened its largest store ever – a five-story fast-food center in New York City’s financial district, complete with three floors of seating.
These strategies, according to Technomic senior principal David Henkes, have created a “pathway” for Chick-fil-A to continue “to leapfrog iconic chains” that are still performing well, he told Buzzfeed News.
Henkes, however, reiterated that Chick-fil-A isn’t just doing well, it’s doing “phenomenally.”