Being demonised by small, vocal sections of society might not be fun to bear, but it doesn’t necessarily hurt much. Exhibit One is Chick-fil-A. Once the most demonised restaurant chain in America, it’s now that nation’s favorite.
This year, Chick-fil-A was judged by ordinary Americans to be the best restaurant for customer service. It has grown in recent years to the third largest fast food chain in the United States.
All this despite being at the centre of a cultural firestorm in 2012 when chief executive Dan Cathy told a Christian publication that the company with Christian values would close on Sundays as it backs “the Biblical definition of a family”.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel said Chick-fil-A “wasn’t respectful of our residents, our neighbors”, and the city would block new stores being opened. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio urged citizens to boycott Chick-fil-A’s first NYC store. Stores endured vocal protest gatherings, and counter-protests from customers who queued to show their support.
Chick fil-A stuck to its guns. Chick-fil-A sandwiches and service are now just as popular with big city Americans as anywhere else. The showy grandstanding of city elites proved to be empty threats: you now find Chick-fil-A just off Chicago’s Magic Mile. The world’s largest Chick fil-A is on Manhattan’s 6th Avenue.
A similarly thick skin is being exhibited here at home by Hell Pizza. We joined criticism of their promotion that replaced ingredients in a pizza without telling customers. Hell’s boss observed the company didn’t care about the complaints because it was customers who would judge them in the end.
More power to that attitude.