This Is The Most Popular Fast Food Chain For Teenagers

Say what you will about Chick-fil-A: that Popeyes has made them look silly on Twitter throughout their chicken sandwich wars, or that they just can't seem to avoid controversy due to their stand on LGBTQ+ issues. And let's even say you agree with Business Insider that Popeyes' chicken sandwich beats Chick-fil-A's on taste.

Despite all this, Chick-fil-A is a clear winner where it likely really counts to the company: sales. According to The Business Journals, growing sales at Chick-fil-A have lifted it to the third-biggest fast food chain in America. Chick-fil-A recently was named America's favorite restaurant (via Reader's Digest) and has ranked number one in customer service four years in a row (via The Customer). The Atlanta-based chain recently proved that it has won the hearts and stomachs of America's teenagers, too. Restaurant Business reports that the financial firm Piper Sandler surveys teens every six months about their spending habits; from their favorite places to shop, to their employment situation, to their favorite restaurant brand. On the restaurant question, teenagers said "Chick-fil-A" far more than any other establishment.

Teens appear to be willing to overlook Chick-fil-A's corporate reputation for being hostile to the gay community

The king of fast-food chicken had the approval of 21 percent of "upper income teens" surveyed, with Starbucks and Chipotle coming in a distant second and third, each winning the loyalty of about 10 percent. McDonald's and Dunkin' rounded out the list at 4 percent each. You would think McDonald's would have gotten a boost from the special meal and merchandise sold in partnership with hip-hop star Travis Scott this fall, but it clearly wasn't enough to help the burger giant come close to competing with Chick-fil-A for teenagers' love.

Chick-fil-A's secret? Business Insider says the chain's recipe for winning over teens is a combination of technology and customer service. Even Chick-fil-A's reputation for homophobia doesn't blunt its appeal (via Parentology). Teenagers appear willing and able to separate the social attitudes of Chick-fil-A's higher-ups with the generally positive experiences they have at their local Chick-fil-A restaurants. The quality of the food is clearly a big plus too, as the outlet shared tweets and TikToks by gay teens making jokes about feeling conflicted while eating Chick-fil-A.