(Week of 8/4/2012) Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy’s remarks in opposition to same-sex marriage have sparked tremendous controversy, including calls to boycott the restaurant chain from some and calls to frequent it as a show of support from others. Results from the latest Economist/YouGov poll suggest that the controversy brought Chick-fil-A additional business on last week’s Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, particularly in the South.
22% of Southerners said they have eaten at Chick-fil-A in the last week, far exceeding the percentage who have done so in any other region. The Atlanta-based chain mostly has stores in the South, with more than 100 locations each in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina. In contrast there is only one location in all of New York State.
But more than twice as many Americans ate at McDonald’s, a much larger chain, in the last week. Compared to Chick-fil-A, the regional distribution of visits to McDonald’s is much more equal. The lower percentage of McDonald’s visits in the West may be due to the higher regional popularity of Jack in the Box, Taco Bell and Subway.
A large majority of those who ate at Chick-fil-A last week say they took part in Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day. 77% say they ate at Chick-Fil-A on the day that was set aside specifically to support the company amidst the controversy.
It may be no surprise that Chick-fil-A’s patrons are not just regionally distinct, but also politically distinct. 25% of Republicans (most of whom have opposed same sex marriage in previous Economist/YouGov Polls) have eaten at Chick-fil-A in the last week, but only 7% of Democrats have.
35% of Americans say they make it a practice to patronize—or to avoid—certain businesses because of politics.
Democrats and Republicans are equally likely to say they make political decisions when they purchase a product. Liberals and those with family incomes above $100,000 a year are the most likely groups to do this.
Photo source: Press Association