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Chick-fil-A Seeks New Markets

November 06, 2001|Bloomberg News

Chick-fil-A Inc., the closely held chicken-restaurant chain, may open eateries in San Diego and Chicago in the next three years as part of a plan to expand nationally, its president said.

The company also is looking at real estate in Orange County, President Dan Cathy said. Chick-fil-A plans to open 60 to 70 free-standing restaurants, six to eight mall locations, and 20 smaller units at universities, airports and hospitals in each of the next five years, he said.

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, which plans to open its 1,000th restaurant Thursday, expects to double its sales to $2 billion by 2006. The boost will come from expansion and sales in existing restaurants, where the company has improved its brownies, introduced a dark-roast coffee and increased sales and speed at its drive-through windows, Cathy said.

"Those are major markets where we see a lot of people who are on the go and oriented toward convenience," said Cathy, son of Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy.

"They appreciate access to a brand they can depend on and trust."

In California, the company will open its first stand-alone stores in the southern part of the state and then expand northward, he said. Chick-fil-A opened four locations in malls in Los Angeles about 20 years ago.

Chick-fil-A plans to open 77 restaurants next year.

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