15 Reasons Chick-fil-A Is Totally Not Worth It

Go have a cow, man.

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Updated June 6, 2024
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Chick-fil-A is one of America’s most beloved fast-food chains.

Everyone loves those playful cows telling us to go “Eat Mor Chikin.” And eating in a bright, white lobby is just so much nicer than a grubby hamburger joint with dirty tables and surly cashiers.

Perhaps that’s why Chicken-fil-A has a 45.5% market share in the chicken fast-food segment. The closest competitors, Popeyes and KFC, have relatively meager market shares of just 11.9% and 11.3%.

Yes, in an endless world of fried chicken sandwiches, Chick-fil-A is a big, mother-clucking deal.

But the beloved chicken monger has its critics, too, and some of that criticism is valid. Lurking beneath the fine-feathered facade are some unsavory practices and downright hilarious observations.

Here are 15 reasons why you may want to tell Chick-fil-A to go cluck off and stop wasting your money.

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The restaurant is cult-y

Sundry Photography/Adobe chick-fil-a in san francisco

Or at least gives off major culty vibes. The smiling, red-collared staff seem so Stepford Wives. And Chick-fil-A insiders have alleged cult-like recruitment practices, with a focus on Christian values and hiring franchisees who view working for the chain as working “for the Lord.”

A sit-down restaurant is better value

Refrina/Adobe chick-fil-a restaurant in manassas

Diners on Reddit have noted, “It’s not worth the money anymore…At these prices, you can get a proper slow-food meal with fresher ingredients.” Another diner chimes in, “Might as well go to a sit-down restaurant with those prices.”

20% “My Pleasure tariff”

kanpisut/Adobe drive through and takeaway

Reddit user Angeloa22 notes, “They charge 20% more for the ‘my pleasure.’” (🎤 Mic drop.)

It’s true. The staff never say, “You’re welcome.” Everything is their pleasure. Is it old-fashioned manners? Or obsequiousness? And is it worth the upcharge for dining at Chick-fil-A?

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Paying for the brand-name

James/Adobe chick-fil-a chicken biscuit sandwich

Chick-fil-A has bonafide, Americana, brand-name, icon status. And many diners feel that this drives up prices. Asks one Reddit user, “Are you really going to settle for lower quality and more expense just to support the brand?”

They take business from local restaurants

Jaimie Mcgowan/Wirestock Creators/Adobe chick-fil-a milkshakes

A lot of great local restaurants could use some love. And most of them probably have chicken, too.

Local restaurants may be cheaper

Vladimir Razgulyaev/Adobe receipt in womans hand

Many diners on Reddit have shared they enjoy great meals at local restaurants for much cheaper prices. In Minneapolis, I can get lunch at a local eatery for around $10 to $12 — cheaper than Chick-fil-A and healthier too.

The prices are killer

JHVEPhoto/Adobe chick-fil-a restaurant sign

Chick-fil-A has sold us on the idea that eating chicken is tasty, tasty murder. But less palatable are the prices.

“The prices are killer,” writes one diner on Reddit. “The way my jaw dropped to the floor when I ordered food on the app for my bf the other day. I mean, yeah, it’s great fast food. I won't deny it, but the prices are killing me.”

The drinks are way too spendy

Oksana/Adobe chick-fil-a food

It’s $9.50 for a gallon of tea at my local Chick-fil-A. For that price, I expect to be able to fill a quarter of my tank. That’s nearly 3x more expensive than a gallon of gas in Minnesota.

And they taste bad

Oksana/Adobe chick-fil-a food on the table

Diners on Reddit take the restaurateur to task for the price and flavor of their drinks. According to one diner, the milkshake is sour and tastes like “powdered formula” and the tea is “slimy.”

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Not open on Sundays

JHVEPhoto/Adobe chick-fil-a restaurant in pearland

They’re not open on Sundays, which is inconvenient for me. The religious-minded store owners ostensibly want a day of rest and worship. (Query: Do those owners ever dine out on Sundays?)

Religious litmus test

Sundry Photography/Adobe chick-fil-a logo

Insiders claim there is a long, arduous process to become a franchise owner where corporate is checking for unimpeachable Christian values. The vetting process can take up to several months.

Drive-thru is ridiculous

Sarah Rypma/Adobe chick-fil-a drive thru menu

Maybe it’s just the Chick-fil-A in my area, but the drive-thru lines are atrocious. While the store does manage to keep the line moving quickly, the wait is inconvenient, and the line snakes awkwardly through the parking lot.

Dirty play area

Dmitry Naumov/Adobe maze playground

As a mom of two littles — with relaxed cleaning standards — the play area is, um, filthy. Attentive staff are quick to wipe down tables and chairs, but I have never seen a staff member wiping down anything in the playroom. I’ve joined my kids and gone through the tubes and down the slide, and it’s sheer ick.

Surge pricing

Anastasiia/Adobe customer using credit card

Chick-fil-A is paying $4.4 million to settle a lawsuit over unethical practices during COVID-19. According to a Georgia-filed lawsuit, the restaurateur pledged low delivery fees while jacking up delivery order prices by 30%.

 Eligible customers in New Jersey, California, Georgia, and New York are getting a cash or gift card settlement worth $29.95.

Workers should “feel honored” by catcalls

jetcityimage/Adobe chick-fil-a chicken restaurant

Working at Chick-fil-A may not be such a pleasure. The company is facing a lawsuit over harassment of a trans employee.

According to the pending lawsuit, a worker was terminated for walking off a shift due to relentless harassment that management would not address. Instead, the worker was told to “feel honored” by catcalls.

Additionally, as a mom, I cringe when I see teen workers sent outside to walk the drive-thru strip, taking orders to keep cars and profits flowing. I haven’t accidentally run over anyone yet; it helps that they sometimes wear orange safety vests.

Bottom line

primestockphotograpy/Adobe chick-fil-a meal at restaurant

Dining at Chick-fil-A is a mixed bag. The menu is simple. The food’s delicious. And the lobbies are bright, white, and clean. The prices, worker allegations, and playroom could use some major overhaul though — but these sins are hardly unique to Chick-fil-A.

And many conservatives are at odds with the restaurant chain too. Ultra-conservative leaders have accused the retailer of being too woke and threatened to boycott due to the company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policy being too welcoming.

It seems everyone — but Chick-fil-A — has got beef with the nation’s largest fast-food chicken chain. If you decide to visit anyway, take a beat and prepare yourself financially — it’s gonna cost you a pretty penny.

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Author Details

Stacy Garrels

Stacy enjoys writing about fintech, consumer deals, the side hustle economy, and random tomfoolery. She's personally tried more than 100 different gigs, including being an Uber driver for one afternoon.