Chick-fil-A: 45 Years and Counting

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Posted: March 6, 2014, 9:50 a.m.
by Devon Landman.

Chick-fil-A’s friendly atmosphere and positive company culture have created a high level of customer satisfaction for the restaurant. It’s hard not to leave the drive-thru window without a smile on your face after interacting with such happy people. I have never had a single bad experience at Chick-fil-A, and I have eaten there way more times than a person should in one lifetime.

There are many internal operations at Chick-fil-A that have led to its success. Meredith Wilson, the marketing and sales director for Chick-fil-A at Midtown Village in Tuscaloosa, Ala., describes the company’s culture as fun and energetic.

“We want to impact everyone in a positive way, and we are able to do that by being friendly and truly caring for each person as they come through,” Wilson said. “All of these positive thoughts and impacts are made and built upon Chick-fil-A’s mission statement: ‘To be America’s best quick-service restaurant, to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us, and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.’”

According to its website, “Chick-fil-A was founded in 1946 by Truett Cathy in Hapeville, Ga. The first Chick-fil-A restaurant opened at a mall in suburban Atlanta in 1967. In 2012, annual sales were over $4.6 billion. With 45 consecutive years of positive sales growth, Chick-fil-A has set itself apart by pioneering innovations and delicious products.”

Another strategy that Chick-fil-A uses to sustain its success is following a simple formula.

“We use these five terms to help us build and grow our customer base: Generous, Uncomplicated, Unexpectedly fun, Innovative and Enthusiastic,” Wilson said. “We have to embody these in every way to sustain, grow and keep our amazing customers.”

Just like most restaurants, Chick-fil-A looks for certain qualities in a person prior to hiring. Specifically for a marketing job, an effective communicator is a must.

“When looking for a marketing team member, we look for several things, but they all center around the ‘Three C’s: Competence, Chemistry and Communication,” Wilson said. “In short, an applicant must know how to market a brand, produce sales, get along with team members and be an effective communicator.”

Chick-fil-A’s training sessions equip new employees with detailed company knowledge to represent Chick-fil-A in a positive light.

“Training for a team member position begins with teaching them the history and purpose of Chick-fil-A,” Wilson said. “Then our manager shows them each position in the store. They watch for a while before it’s their turn. They do so with the help of a manager’s guidance.”

There are some strategies Chick-fil-A uses that differ from other fast-food restaurants that are obvious to the customer. One strategy that particularly stands out is how every time you finish ordering and say “thank you” to a Chick-fil-A employee, you will always hear “my pleasure!” in a pleasant tone right back.

“We are grateful and thankful for every customer that comes through our store. So it is always our pleasure to serve them,” Wilson said.

Speaking of appreciating customers, recently Platform’s very own Tracy Sims was pleasantly surprised to receive a Chick-fil-A meal for free. Sims was the 400th customer at that location, and the restaurant gave every 50th customer their meal for free for its Customer Appreciation Day.

When a restaurant serves quality food and has an appreciation for its customers, that is when success starts ringing in. Chick-fil-A does a phenomenal job of making customers feel like their business is important. Polite mannerisms go a long way, and it has for Chick-fil-A … 45 years and counting.

3 Comments

  1. Nicole Murphy

    Reading about Chick-fil-A is as great as eating Chick-fil-A. Great post. I agree, I have eaten Chick-fil-A more than any one person should. Something else this fast food restaurant does well is making your experience almost hands free. When dining in, someone will carry your food to a table and periodically come around to each table to ask if you would like a refill on your drink. This is just further shows how appreciative this restaurant is for its customers. I never knew about the three C’s or the five terms that help the company grow its customer base, but all of those things show in each of its employees. This company is definitely cohesive. When walking in the restaurant everyone seems like a big family. That alone sets it apart from other fast food places.

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  2. Katie L.

    Devon, I really enjoyed this post! It is refreshing to hear a piece of positive news from a company as successful as Chick-fil-A. While there are many other fast food restaurants that enjoy great success, no other establishments come close to the level of customer service that Chick-fil-A provides. Personally, Chick-fil-A is the one fast food restaurant I enjoy visiting. By making the decision to put customers first, the restaurant is truly living its values and serving the community.

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  3. Andrew Kivette

    It just shows how successful the Chick-fil-A franchise by how quickly the company has grown in the past several years. Looking forward the company will continue to grow, and I think the fact that the fast food restaurant making strides to improve the healthiness of its menus will only increase popularity. I, for one, am pumped that they are only going to serve hormone-free chicken moving forward! A great move for a fast food chain.

    Reply

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