A New Generation Leads Chick-fil-A’s Growing Flock

ATLANTA—Andrew Cathy on Monday is starting a new job—chief executive of Chick-fil-A Inc. and its nationwide following of customers, some of whom call him on his birthday.

Mr. Cathy was born into a Southern chicken dynasty founded in 1967 by his grandfather, S. Truett Cathy, who turned a basic crispy chicken sandwich into the third-largest restaurant chain by domestic sales in the U.S. Its relatively simple menu, focused on grilled and fried chicken, has inspired copycat offerings from bigger competitors. Chick-fil-A’s family owners have at times drawn controversy to the brand, particularly when it comes to their philanthropy and conservative stances on social issues.