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Strategy and Strategic Implications: The Impact of COVID-19

The notion of strategy has been in-depth studied by many business leaders and scholars since understanding this concept is one of the fundamental prerequisites to the success of any organization. Herewith, although experts still debate about the meaning and necessary conditions of its effectiveness, the majority agree that strategy primarily should determine the actions supporting the company’s vision and its mission in the long run. Moreover, the practical strategy should set the direction, pattern, and scope of activity based on available time and material, technological, and labor resources to meet the requirements of the competitive market environment (“What is strategy?,” n.d.). Thus, this paper aims at reviewing the existing strategy of Chick-fil-A, creating a summary describing the potential strategic implications caused by COVID-19 (coronavirus), and offering recommendations based on the finding.

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The Impact of COVID-19

The COVID-2019 epidemic has placed a heavy burden on world economics and significantly reflected on people’s daily lives primarily because of severe governmental restrictions on movement in public places and commercial operations. In this situation, the most radical shifts have occurred in the behavior of consumers who begin to adapt to new circumstances. Indeed, the time of infection threat, economic uncertainty, and self-isolation has altered consumers’ habits, views, and preferences concerning work, shopping, entertainment, communications, home life, health, and overall well-being. Online delivery, digital entertainment, remote working and learning, telemedicine, and a surge in e-commerce are trends that have gained accelerating impetus during the pandemic.

Strategic Management Plans

While other fast-food companies frequently broaden their menu offerings to draw new customers, Chick-fil-A’s business model is based on superior customer service and a simple menu mainly consisting of chicken sandwiches. The capital “A” in the name implies that their menu is “grade A top quality” (“Who we are,” n.d.). In particular, their sandwiches are made of high-quality chicken not raised on antibiotics, and no trans fats are used in cooking (“Chick-fil-A’s commitment,” n.d.). Excellent customer service and high-quality products favorably affect customer satisfaction, allowing Chick-fil-A to lead in the fast-food industry.

In the complicated situation caused by COVID-19, the principle strategical changes related to fast-food chains include higher consumer safety standards and increased demand for online orders and purchases. In this regard, after reopening dining rooms, Chick-fil-A added outdoor hand-washing stations for workers, removed condiments and flowers from tables, and put plexiglass shields (Taylor, 2020). Besides, the chain’s administration of every establishment has to implement preventive measures, the use of masks, changeable work clothes, and antiseptics in place, rules of safe distance, and other WHO’s recommendations.

The pandemic influences the chain’s strategy because the company will have to follow adequate sanitary and hygiene norms to maintain customers’ satisfaction at a high level, leading to some expenditures. Additionally, due to increased demand for digital shopping, the management will have to make some amendments concerning their workforce needing appropriate reorganization. In particular, the staff may need reducing, and some employees will require acquiring new skills.

Competitive Advantages or Disadvantages

Before the pandemic, the primary competitive advantages of Chick-fil-A were associated with excellent customer service, superior product, unique franchise model, and brand building. For example, while many fast-food franchises usually enable franchisees to own their restaurants with up-front capital, Chick-Fil-A owns all its operating stores. Because of this, Chick-Fil-A obtained about 20,000 applications a year, only choosing 80 percent franchise operators (“Franchising,” n.d.). Concerning the disadvantages, the most significant of them are poor geographic coverage and low innovation compared to its competitors.

In the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chick-fil-A should focus on expanding its activity in the digital sphere and increasing the number of locations in the US and the globe. Specifically, the former implies enhancing the remote service and access to online stores because most consumers begin to prefer online shopping, which undoubtedly safer and more convenient. The latter is mainly conditioned by limited people movement in public places and across the country overall.

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Chick-fil-A’s commitment to no antibiotics ever. (n.d.). 2020, Web.

Franchising. (n.d.). 2020, Web.

Taylor, K (2020). Chick-fil-A continues to dominate customer satisfaction rankings as the fast-food chain takes over America. Business Insider. Web.

What is strategy? (n.d.). Mind Tools. 2020, Web.

Who we are. (n.d.). 2020, Web.

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