The growth included same-store sales growth of 5.9%. The company, which says its record of year-over-year sales growth has been unbroken since it launched in 1967, did not report profit performance.
Chick-fil-A opened 80 new restaurants (an increase of 5% versus 2009), including 66 stand-alones, two mall/in-line locations and 12 licensed outlets at campuses, hospitals, airports and business sites. One key new market is the Chicago market, where it opened units in Aurora, Orland Park and Wheaton, Ill. The chain passed the 1,500-unit mark during the year, and now has 1,540 in 39 states and Washington, D.C. The expansion created 4,500 new jobs, according to the company.
In addition to winning Zagat fast-food survey awards for "best value" and "best milkshake," Chick-fil-A last year placed among J.D. Power's top restaurant brands in customer satisfaction, and was an Advertising Age "Marketer of the Year" runner-up.
The company's growth plan for this year includes adding 90 more locations (71 stand-alones, four mall/in-line locations and 15 licensed units). It will increase its expansion into the Chicago market and enter the San Francisco Bay and Boise, Idaho markets. Renovations of more than 200 existing units are planned (164 were renovated last year).
In product innovation terms, Chick-fil-A reports that its June 2010-launched Spicy Chicken Sandwich -- its first new sandwich since its Chargrilled Chicken one launched in 1989 -- was a significant success, selling more than 10 million units in its first two months alone.
This year, the chain introduced a Spicy Chicken Biscuit in January. Next month, it will begin offering a Banana Pudding Milkshake on a limited-time basis.
President/COO Dan T. Cathy attributed the chain's performance to franchise operators' exceptional customer service and the company's dedication to high-quality products.