Tag Archives: Chick-fil-A

Six Leadership Characteristics of Truett Cathy

September 14, 2014

Truett Cathy’s legacy will surely be most recalled as the founder of Chick-fil-A, but I hope his personal and leadership characteristics will not be forgotten either. Those characteristics were summarized in a September 13, 2014 Wall Street Journal column by Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola who referred to Cathy as “a longtime business partner, and dear friend and a teacher.”

Kent listed the following six characteristics as the the way Cathy approached business, people and community.

1. He believed in himself.
2. He worked hard.
3. He embodied the culture he wanted to build, i.e. he walked the talk.
4. He never stopped innovating.
5. He was generous.
6. He stayed humble.

At Chick-fil-A it’s a pleasure. At some other places it’s no problem.

Dining at Chick-fil-A is different from other fast-food places for several reasons.  Although the food is good and the service is fast, employees seem go out of their way to create a positive dining experience.  One way they do this is the way they respond to “Thank you.”  During the past two weeks I’ve purchased food at Chick-fil-A stores in Mississippi, Georgia and Ohio, and I have noticed that every time I said “Thank you,” the reply was “It was my pleasure.”  Obviously, employees are now trained to say that.

It is a pleasant alternative to what it seems that more and more retail employees, especially servers in restaurants, are saying.  When I say “Thank you” in many places, I now hear “No problem” as the reply.  So what’s the problem?

It is very subtle, but consider the implication.  “No problem” places the emphasis on the server, not the customer.  “My pleasure” connotes a sense of humility, thus placing the emphasis on the customer.  So thank you, Chick-fil-A.

Check out the Chick-fil-A Web site to find out why its store are closed on Sunday and why they offer college scholarships to employees.

Oh, here are some interesting fun facts from the Chick-fil-A Web site:

  • Chick-fil-A sold more than 282 million Chick-fil-A® Sandwiches, that is 537 a minute or almost 9 sandwiches per second.
  • Laid end to end, they would span 21 thousand miles, just shy of wrapping around the Earth’s circumference.
  • That is more than enough sandwiches to reach from Boston to Sydney, Australia and back, or to wrap around the equator of the moon three times.
  • If you stack the Chicken Sandwiches one on top of the other, the stack would be more than 8,901 miles tall! That is enough to make 23 stacks that reach the Hubble Telescope (380 miles in space), with a few sandwiches left over. That is enough Chicken Sandwiches to make more than 44 stacks that reach the International Space Station (approximately 200 miles from Earth).

Also, in 2010, Chick-fil-A sold more than 58 million Chick-fil-A® Spicy Chicken Sandwiches from June to December 2010, that is 110 a minute or almost 2 sandwiches per second.