I’m going to put my undergrad journalism skills to good use and report on a story that I find interesting, and of course, controversial (you know I like a friendly debate!). Yesterday I heard about the controversial debate with the Chick-Fil-A restaurant and their stand against gay marriage. Of course this topic brings controversy on its own. Now with CFA’s public announcement, people are shocked and have sworn off doing business with the popular restaurant fast food chain. People are so turned off by their announcement that some have made a stance to keep the restaurant from expanding to an entire metropolitan city! The mayor of Boston, MA has proclaimed his fight to make it difficult for the fast food chain to come into the city stating that Chick-Fil-A doesn’t belong in the city.
Ouch! Going through the different news reports on this story it appears a lot of people are offended by CFA’s announcement and feel the chicken sandwich business should not be involved in politics. The other side of the fence applauds the founder and leadership of the Chick-Fil-A company for standing firmly in their religious beliefs. Either side you take, I wonder what type of impact this will have on the business. Sure, the restaurant is well-known for their great chicken sandwiches and ice tea, but is there enough loyalty to the brand to overcome this potential setback? Has the company produced enough brand engagement that will keep its customers loyal and keep them coming, or will business take a significant nosedive??
Yesterday I put this topic on Facebook and Twitter and people were chiming in on their views. It got pretty heated (I love it!). For those who don’t know, Chick-Fil-A is deeply rooted in their Christian beliefs and values. They remain closed on Sundays and, from what I understand, their process for bringing in new franchisees is strenuous and includes a lot of Christian based requirements. Knowing this, many of the facebook people who commented were shocked anyone would be surprised on their public announcement.
Others on facebook thought it was bad business for the company to dabble into political affairs, and because of it, their business is now at risk. They brought up examples of people and businesses, such as Jim Henson of the Muppets and the Boston mayor, who have pulled their support for the company. To them, it really was a bad business decision to make it a public stance on such a sensitive subject and they are now at risk of suffering dire consequences. With a more accepting society, why would a well-known company take the risk of losing business for making such an announcement?
What’s my view? Journalism school says I’m not supposed to express my views, just deliver the message. Oh well, it’s my blog so whatever! LOL I am completely shocked at the surprise and uproar people are expressing, even on facebook. If you know the company you know their ethics. You know what they believe in, so when they express that, why are you shocked?? PUTTING ASIDE how you feel about the actual message, it is hard for me to understand why someone would be shocked about standing firm in their religious beliefs. Were they supposed to suppress their ideas because they are a business?
Of course I’m curious to know what LNB readers think. I love the fact that facebook was all over this topic yesterday from both sides. Do you think it is important to speak out your personal views on controversial issues, despite the financial repercussions you may encounter?