Did Chick-fil-A change their name? Mandela Effect link explained

Amber Peake July 7, 2022
Did Chick-fil-A change their name? Mandela Effect link explained
Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images


Twitter users have been wondering whether Chick-fil-A has changed its name as users debate its spelling on the micro-blogging platform. 

Theories surrounding the chain’s name and how it is spelled have been around for some time, and this week appear to have resurfaced once again. 

Yesterday (6 July) marked national fried chicken day across the US, with many taking an interest in the spelling of fast-food restaurant Chick-fil-A. 

We explore the theories surrounding the brand’s name and how it has been linked to the Mandela Effect.

The story behind Chick-fil-A’s name

Chick-fil-A was founded in 1946 by Samuel Truett Cathy when he and his brother Ben opened a diner – Dwarf Grill – in Hapeville, Georgia. The diner was later renamed Dwarf House. 

The Chick-fil-A name first came about during the early days at Dwarf House. As explained by Business Insider, the name was thought up for Cathy’s original chicken sandwich. He ended up registering the name in 1963. 

However, four years later, the name became known as a restaurant chain as Cathy opened the first Chick-fil-A venue in 1967. Since then, the name has stuck and become known across the US as the business has expanded. 

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Theories on the name have been around for some time

Theories on how the Chick-fil-A name is spelled have long been debated. Discussions have particularly focused on the spelling of the first part of the chain’s name as some believe it to have been spelt ‘Chic‘ while others claim to remember it as ‘Chik‘. 

Some have put this down to the Mandela Effect, a phenomenon where groups of people have a shared memory of something that either didn’t occur or fails to match historical records.

In the case of Chick-fil-A’s name, there have been dedicated Reddit threads in which users have shared memories of an alternative spelling.

This week conversations surrounding Chick-fil-A’s spelling have once again taken over social media as users claim they remember it to being spelled differently. 

In 2018, Chick-fil-A addressed the confusion in an article entitled How Do You Spell ‘Chick-fil-A’?. In the post, the chain listed some of the ways the name has been spelled over the years as it clarified the “only one right way” is Chick-fil-A. 

Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

Did Chick-fil-A change its name? 

In 2019, the fast-food restaurant shared an insight into the different Chick-fil-A logos that have been the face of the brand over the years. 

The first Chick-fil-A logo was from 1960, before the name evolved into the name of the chain. The initial logo featured a slightly different spelling as well as the tag line: “Best Thing That Ever Happened To A Chicken.”

The initial spelling of Chick-fil-A included an extra ‘l’ on fil (Chick-fill-a). By the time the second edition of the logo came out, the spelling that is still around today (Chick-fil-A) was introduced. 

Therefore, while the spelling of the name was slightly tweaked in its early stages, the first part of the name ‘Chick’ has remained the same. 

Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Meaning behind Chick-fil-A’s name explored

The Chick-fil-A name is a play on the phrase ‘chicken fillet’, referencing the main ingredient in the fast-food restaurant’s classic sandwich. The name also reflects the top-quality chicken used in the sandwiches, which is reflected in the intentional capitalised A. 

As explained on the restaurant chain’s site, the ‘A’ represents the chicken being of “grade A” quality. The original chicken sandwich was created by Chick-fil-A founder Samuel Truett Cathy in 1964 after he spent years perfecting it. 

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Amber is an entertainment journalist with a love for anything showbiz, celeb or reality TV. After graduating with a degree in Journalism at Brunel University she became a Showbiz Reporter at Express.co.uk. Having written for both HITC and The Focus, Amber is now a staff writer for The Focus covering the latest celeb and entertainment trends.