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5 things to know about Chick-fil-A, the chicken sandwich chain

Ann Schmidt

Chick-fil-A is currently in the fray of the fast-food chicken sandwich wars, but the chain has a leg up on its competitors including McDonald’s or Popeyes.

That’s because Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy was the inventor of the chicken sandwich, according to the company.

Cathy came up with the idea for the unique sandwich in the 1960s when a local poultry supplier asked if he wanted to take his excess boneless, skinless chicken breasts to use in his restaurant, according to the company’s website,

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After some experimenting with cooking methods, recipes and serving styles, the chicken sandwich was born and made its official debut in 1964, the website says.

As fast-food chains continue to battle it out with Chick-fil-A for the top chicken sandwich, here are five other things to know about the restaurant.

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Chick-fil-A was born out of another restaurant

When the poultry supplier came to Cathy about his extra chicken breasts, Cathy was running a diner called The Dwarf Grill, just outside Atlanta, according to Chick-fil-A’s website.

The Dwarf Grill, which was renamed to the Dwarf House, opened in 1946 and remains open today.

Cathy’s son, Donald Cathy, is the president of the Dwarf House -- as well as Truett’s Grill restaurant concepts, according to his website bio. He is also the executive vice president of Chick-fil-A.

The ‘A’ in the name means something

According to Chick-fil-A’s “Beginner’s Guide,” the company says the “A” in the name is meant to point to the quality of the food.

“Few people know that the name Chick-fil-A isn’t just a fun play on words incorporating chicken and filet it’s also a promise,” the website says. “The ‘A’ stands for Grade A and top quality. It’s what we deliver every time you eat with us.”

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Chick-fil-A has a Hawaiian-themed restaurant

Truett’s Luau, the Hawaiian-themed restaurant was opened by Cathy in 2013 in Fayetteville, Ga.

“At the age of 92, Truett wanted his last project to be a special restaurant with an environment focused on having fun and celebrating life with family and friends,” the restaurant website says. “For Truett, that brought to mind Hawaiian Luaus.”

According to the website, Truett’s Luau is the “largest in the Chick-fil-A portfolio.”

There aren't locations in all 50 states

Though the restaurant has more than 2,400 locations, three U.S. states don’t have a single location at all: Alaska, Vermont and Hawaii.

However, the chain has recently expanded beyond the U.S.

Last year, the company opened its first Canadian location in Toronto and its first U.K. location in Berkshire, England, according to Business Insider.

The company will never go public

Chick-Fil-A is still owned by the Cathy family, even though Truett passed away in 2014 at the age of 93.

According to a report from USA Today at the time of Cathy’s death, he reportedly set up “a contract with his children that said they may sell the privately-owned chain in the future but the company must never go public.”

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