Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Business Administration

First Advisor

Dwight Frink

Relational Format



From humble beginnings to industry giants, three companies have combined for over 163 years of implementing innovative business models and growing sales across the globe. Chick-fil-A, McDonald's, and Wendy's have accounted for tens of billions of dollars in sales revenue since their respective inceptions. Chick-fil-A is a family-owned company started and run by S. Truett Cathy and his children. McDonald's is an industry juggernaut created by Ray Kroc, and Dave Thomas founded Wendy's. Over the years, Chick-fil-A has prioritized its growth by maintaining their high quality standards in exchange for a slower growth rate. McDonald's has grown rapidly to an enormous size and expanded across the world. Wendy's followed a growth pattern similar to McDonald's, but experienced a halt in growth around the late 1990s. While their overall financial success is comparable, their guiding philosophies and ideologies are somewhat different. Chick-fil-A, in particular, has a unique outlook on how to run a business — to make business decisions based on biblical principles. While customer loyalty can be difficult to measure, Chick-fil-A seems to have a customer base that identifies with Chick-fil-A's values and has proven to be loyal supporters even throughout recent controversy. Employee satisfaction ratings for Chick-fil-A also indicate how highly they value their human resources. With McDonald's and Wendy's falling well behind in such metrics, Chick-fil-A holds a specific advantage in both customer and employee satisfaction. All three companies are active philanthropically, giving large sums of money to various internal and external charities each year. Although Chick-fil-A does not lead in overall sales volume, same-store sales growth and customer satisfaction ratings show Chick-fil-A's unique business model can thrive in the modern business world.



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