Chick-Fil-A, which is coming to Cheektowaga Thursday, is the 8th largest fast food company in the nation, but it's business model is unlike the rest.
Cassandra Sheedy is the owner of the first Chick-Fil-A in Western New York. It was a long road to opening her first franchise, though.
"It's at least an 11 step interview process and sometimes it takes year," she said.
Sheedy said that Chick-Fil-A is very particular with who it allows to open a franchise.
"I applied first in 2012, and I applied the second time in 2016, and I worked in a Chick-Fil-A in between after hours, so I maintained a full time Job."
Chick-Fil-A even interviews friends and family members for further information about the applicant.
But once you are in, Sheedy says the financial barrier is relatively low.
“So it's a $10,000 investment on the operators end, and what they are looking for is a long term commitment."
That's dirt cheap compared to what places like McDonalds cost. According to Business Insider, it could cost more than $1 million. That's 100 times more than Chick-Fil-A.
The chicken restaurant even handles the real estate and construction of the facility.
“Chick-Fil-A finds a market that's ready for them. They then build the building.”
If you are accepted into the program, you must be available for a multi-week training process.
There may be another reason that the cost to start a franchise is so low. Chick-Fil-A only allows its owners to franchise one location. Sheedy said that sometimes exceptions are made but those are rare.
“Chick-Fil-A does grant a second location sometimes a third.”
The chicken sandwich restaurant is also known for its religious background. Most notably, all franchises are closed on Sundays. This started as a tradition back when founder S. Truett Cathy wanted to gives his workers a chance to rest and worship if they chose to do so.
There is a Chick-Fil-A in a NFL stadium. Some questioned the move since professional football games are on Sunday and the booth would be closed. However, according to an ESPN article the Chick-Fil-A booth sold was the third most items in the stadium despite not being open for seven of the years' events.
Despite the low franchise cost and being closed on Sunday's Chick-Fil-A still makes more than both KFC and Chipotle combined.