For years, the Chick-fil-A cows have been persuading us of one thing:
This marketing strategy, along with the mouth-watering chicken these cows speak of, has certainly proven effective in getting customers through Chick-fil-A’s doors; however, there’s another business tactic that can be credited for the fast food chain’s unprecedented amount of loyal fans: superior customer service. On behalf of Chick-fil-A, it’s my pleasure to tell you more about it.
“We’re in the People Business”
Chick-fil-A founder, Truett Cathy, put it this way: “We aren’t in the chicken business. We’re in the people business.” This mentality sets the tone for the company as a whole: People are priority. This mindset is engrained into each employee, from the general managers to the food preppers to the cashiers. It’s the reason that Chick-fil-A customers can always expect to see smiling faces and hear that iconic phrase, “My pleasure,” at each and every visit.
Chick-fil-A also demonstrates its dedication to being in the “people business” by treating its employees as people who deserve respect. This is evidenced in Chick-fil-A’s provision of competitive wages, most of which are slightly above the average wages at other popular fast food chains. They are proactive in providing extensive training that reinforces their all-important customer service values. They also offer various leadership opportunities, giving their employees chances to advance their career.
It’s clear that this fast food chain practices what they preach and customers feel evidence of that each time they order themselves a chicken sandwich. Other businesses should take note: Being in the “people business” is what matters most. As soon as a company forgets its chief dedication to people, trouble will inevitably follow.
A Purpose Worth Pursuing
Many businesses suffer from employee burnout, which typically leads to turnover. Recent findings revealed that the average turnover rate for hourly workers in the fast food industry is a whopping 107%. But not at Chick-fil-A: their hourly worker turnover rate rests around just 60%.
So, what’s the difference? According to inc.com, “People in organizations don't get burned out because of the work they do; they get burned out because they forget why they do the work they do.” Truett Cathy recognized this, leading to the creation of his corporate purpose statement. It reads, “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that's entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all those who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.” This statement is routinely discussed and prominently displayed at the company’s corporate office and all other locations.
Purpose statements like this give greater meaning to the work that a company is doing. They give employees something to believe in, which can make the difference between deciding to give up one day or determining to see a job through for the good of the greater cause.
Other businesses should follow suit by having a prominently displayed and frequently discussed purpose statement that is worth pursuing. As demonstrated by Chick-fil-A, purpose statements produce passionate and committed employees who are not easily burnt out or tempted to give up, even when the going gets tough.
Small, But Mighty
Sure, Chick-fil-A is a nationally recognized brand, but as far as the fast food industry goes, they’re a small fish in a big pond. According to Business Insider, Chick-fil-A has less than 2,000 restaurants located primarily in the Southeast, all of which are only open six days a week. In comparison, McDonald's has more than 14,000 locations in the US, Taco Bell has approximately 5,921, and KFC has 4,370, all of which are open every day.
Despite those statistics, Chick-fil-A generates more revenue per restaurant than any other fast food chain in the country! What do you suppose this accomplishment could be attributed to? I’m betting their mentality of being in the “people business” and their dedication to their meaningful purpose statement has a lot to do with it! Pull these moves out of Chick-fil-A’s playbook and it won’t be long before you’re thanking the Truett family legacy for your business’ success! …To which, of course, they would reply, “My pleasure!”