Chick-fil-A money machine: Cathy brothers are billionaires
Chick-fil-A executives and brothers Dan and Donald Cathy run one of the most controversial fast-food chains around. Doing so makes them some of the richest men in the country.
The privately held Atlanta company is valued at $4.5 billion, according to research firm PrivCo. Don “Bubba” Cathy and Dan Cathy -- he of anti-gay-marriage fame -- each own a third.
According to PrivCo, that means the Cathys, sons of Chick-fil-A founder Samuel Truett Cathy, are worth $1.5 billion apiece.
That’s leaving out the $47.5 million in revenue the company could garner each year if it didn’t close its outlets on Sunday -- a policy in line with the chain’s Christian principles. Opening on Sundays would add $190 million to Chick-fil-A’s net worth, according to PrivCo.
Whether the company will take a financial hit due to the outcry over Dan Cathy’s comments earlier this month about the “the biblical definition of the family unit” is unclear -- Chick-fil-A tends to be tight-lipped about in-depth financial data.
But according to PrivCo., the company operates with a whopping 44% EBITDA margin, “virtually unheard of in the restaurant industry.” Chick-fil-A and its waffle fries and chicken sandwiches brought in $1.12 billion in revenue last year, researchers estimate.
The company, however, said its system-wide sales reached $4.1 billion in 2011, a 13% boost over 2010.
There are more than 1,300 Chick-fil-A units as well as three full-service Truett’s Grill restaurants and 11 Dwarf House eateries. The company franchises 97% of its units, allowing it to limit its capital expenditures and boost cash flow, according to PrivCo.
On average, each Chick-fil-A location brings in $2.96 million in sales a year, according to PrivCo.
A separate estimate from QSR magazine estimates that Chick-fil-A brings in $2.89 million for each unit per year, topping all other quick-service chains. McDonald’s is second with $2.5 million per store, followed by Panera Bread’s $2.3 million.
According to the estimate, Chick-fil-A added 69 new restaurants from 2010 to 2011.
Your guide to our new economic reality.
Get our free business newsletter for insights and tips for getting by.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.