Chick-fil-A Started Closing on Sundays Out of “Loyalty” to God, Founder Said


May 1 2022, Published 2:32 p.m. ET

Seventy-five years into Chick-fil-A’s existence, people are still wondering why the fast-food chain is closed one day a week.

“Why does Chick-fil-A close on Sundays?” one person tweeted recently.

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And since today, May 1, is a Sunday, many more fans are taking their hunger to Twitter.

“Chick-fil-A being closed on Sundays is very evil,” one person tweeted today.

“I forgot that Chick-fil-A was closed on Sundays, and now it’s everyone’s problem,” wrote another.

“Every time I crave Chick-fil-A is on a Sunday,” bemoaned a third Twitter user.

So why is Chick-fil-A closed on Sunday, anyway?

Chick-fil-A says it is closed on Sundays to let employees rest — “and worship if they choose.”

Chick-fil-A’s official Twitter account offered an explanation last month: “Our restaurants are closed on Sunday to give our team members the opportunity to rest and enjoy time with their families and friends before beginning the week again on Monday.”

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On its website, meanwhile, the company offered a slightly different explanation:

“Our founder, Truett Cathy, made the decision to close on Sundays in 1946 when he opened his first restaurant in Hapeville, Georgia. Having worked seven days a week in restaurants open 24 hours, Truett saw the importance of closing on Sundays so that he and his employees could set aside one day to rest and worship if they choose — a practice we uphold today.”

The chain’s founder wrote that closing on Sundays “is our way of honoring God.”

Those corporate responses only hint at the religious reason Chick-fil-A started the tradition of closing on Sunday, a rationale that Truett made clear in his book Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People. “Closing our business on Sunday, the Lord's Day, is our way of honoring God and showing our loyalty to Him," the late businessman wrote in the 2002 book, per Business Insider.

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He went on: “My brother Ben and I closed our first restaurant on the first Sunday after we opened in 1946, and my children have committed to closing our restaurants on Sundays long after I’m gone. I believe God honors our decision and sets before us unexpected opportunities to do greater work for Him because of our loyalty.”

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The Cathy family’s religious views have landed Chick-fil-A in boycott-level controversy, especially after CEO Dan Cathy, one of Truett’s sons, said in a 2012 radio interview that supporting same-sex marriagewould invite God’s judgment on our nation,” as The Washington Post reported at the time. The company has also sparked ire by donating to anti-LGBTQ groups, per USA Today.

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Chick-fil-A is missing out on an estimated $1.2 billion in sales by being closed on Sundays.

In 2019, 24/7 Wall Street reported that Chick-fil-A had more than $10 billion in revenue the year before, with those profits coming from 2,400 locations in 47 states and Washington, D.C. With that figure in mind, 24/7 Wall Street estimated that the chain could pull in another $1.2 billion yearly if they opened on Sundays.

That same year, Kanye West name-dropped Chick-fil-A in a song tellingly titled “Closed on Sunday.”

“Closed on Sunday, you're my Chick-fil-A / Closed on Sunday, you my Chick-fil-A,” Kanye raps on the track. “Hold the selfies, put the 'Gram away / Get your family, y'all hold hands and pray.”

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