Bad news for those angered by Chick-fil-A's stance toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights: despite the onslaught of negative publicity, the restaurant chain is thriving.
USA Today cites a survey by Sandelman & Associates, which found that consumer use of the chain was up 2.2 percent in the third quarter when compared with the same period in 2011. The poll of more than 30,000 fast-food consumers also found that market share was up 0.6 percent, and total ad awareness was up a hefty 6.5 percent.
As the article notes, the statistics left some officials "confounded." In addition, the news seems to contradict a recent Business Insider piece which suggested that Chick-fil-A would have "permanent brand damage" from the backlash.
Stating that the Atlanta-based fast food chain "did everything wrong in the book," CGPR Chris Goddard told USA Today, "Their president shot from the hip, and his PR team was not equipped or prepared [to respond]. It was a PR disaster and a clear case of what not to do in a crisis."
Earlier this month, Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy doubled down on his company's anti-gay stance yet again, re-iterating the restaurant chain's support of "Biblical" families.
"Families are very important to our country," Cathy told NBC affiliate 11 Alive. "And they're very important to those of us who are concerned about being able to hang on to our heritage. We support Biblical families, and they've always been a part of that."
Cathy's remarks followed a previous statement ssued on Chick-fil-A's official website, in which officials defended their corporate giving as having been "mischaracterized." The statement noted:
"And while our sincere intent has been to remain out of this political and social debate, events from Chicago this week have once again resulted in questions around our giving. A part of our corporate commitment is to be responsible stewards of all that God has entrusted to us. Because of this commitment, Chick-fil-A's giving heritage is focused on programs that educate youth, strengthen families and enrich marriages, and support communities. We will continue to focus our giving in those areas. Our intent is not to support political or social agendas."
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