Want a Free Meal at Chick-fil-A? Dress Like a Cow

Friday is Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A, the privately held fast food chain known for its funny "Eat Mor Chikin" campaign. If you show up at a restaurant wearing a cow costume this Friday the 13th, you eat for free.

Source: Chick-fil-a.com

The game of chicken has been paying off during the recession. Yum! Brands' KFC is the largest fast food chain in China, and here in the U.S., Chick-fil-A reported a 13 percent rise in sales last year to $4.1 billion. This even though stores are only open six days a week, being closed on Sundays to reflect the founder’s Christian faith.

That faith may be tried in the coming months. Chickens eat corn, and corn may be hard to come by if the drought and heat in the Midwest continue. Company President Dan Cathy said 80 percent of the cost of poultry is corn.

"We do know that these extreme temperatures are not only unhealthy for plants, but they're unhealthy for chicken as well," Cathy told CNBC. "It'll be some time into this fall before we fully realize what the impact of that may be."

Cathy made the comments while dressed up as a cow, and he says if costs do rise, the company may "eat" some of them to avoid passing them on to consumers.

The Labor Department on Friday reported a strong rise in June wholesale food prices led by meats, which rose 3.1 percent. Over the last year, retail prices for poultry have risen four percent, versus five percent for beef.

Cathy said Chick-fil-Asources its chicken from major processors.

"We only use breast meat, so we have to have processors that are large enough to dispose of the entire bird." As for the rest of the chicken, "A lot of it goes to Asia, a lot of it goes to Europe as well,” he said. “It helps keep down the price of breast meat for us."

That should make the cows happy.

— By CNBC's Jane Wells

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