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BUILT ON HAPPY CUSTOMERS AND GOOD CHICKEN How Chick-fil-A Continually Fries Above Its Competition
Climb with care and confidence.
No. 1 among limited-service restaurants in the United States according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s (ACSI) annual survey. Chick-fil-A ranked ahead of other restaurants such as Panera Bread, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, and Subway, the four restaurants that came in just behind the chicken chain. And why do customers rate Chick-fil-A so high? According to ACSI’s ranking data, customers love the cleanliness of the restaurants, the quickness of the food delivery, and the approachability of every employee. There is another important value Chick-fil-A upholds that contributes to customers being so satisfied with the service and the food: consistency. Practically every Chick-fil-A restaurant is the same as the next. It all comes down to the fact that they rarely franchise. Nearly every Chick-fil-A restaurant is owned by the company itself. According to Business Insider, they only accept 0.4% of franchisees. Those who seek to open a franchise are then only allowed to open a single location and cannot own any equity in the business. For many people, there really isn’t much incentive to become a franchisee. But this is good news for customers. It means they can rely on that consistency no matter where they are. And when you’re a customer looking to spend money with a business — or looking to spend more money with a business — consistency can go a long way. One of Cathy’s recipes for success was to never lose a customer, and on that front, Chick- fil-A isn’t playing with their food. They know what people love, and you can be 100% sure they’re going to deliver.
There are a lot of things Chick-fil-A gets right. For one, if
2. Create a loyalty effect.
3. Never lose a customer.
you’ve ever been in a Chick-fil-A restaurant, then you know the second you walk through their doors that they are different from every other fast-food chain.
4. Put principles and people ahead of profits.
5. Close on Sundays.
The Chick-fil-A founder had many more “secrets to success,” such as not to be burdened with personal debt and to be kind, but these five were among his biggest and are still reflected in Chick-fil-A restaurants today. In many ways, these five steps can be attributed to much of the chain’s success and the reason why there are over 2,300 locations across the U.S., Canada, and Britain. A major part of Chick-fil-A’s business model is simplicity. Unlike many other fast-food restaurants, Chick-fil-A keeps its menu completely straightforward. It rarely changes, and you won’t find any gimmicky sandwiches, seasonal experiments, or a rotating menu — except for a handful of seasonal milkshakes. You can visit any Chick-fil-A at any time and know what you’re going to get. At literally every location, you’ll find their classic selection of chicken sandwiches, salads, milkshakes, and Chick-fil-A Waffle Potato Fries — not to mention their sauces. On top of that, their ingredients are known for being exceptionally high quality. Everything that goes into their food is sourced from some of the best food producers in the industry. Chick-fil-A doesn’t spare any expense, but they still manage to keep their prices competitive.
Their restaurants are clean, their service is fast, and their food is some of the best you can get for the money and time. Founded in 1946 in Hapeville, Georgia, by S. Truett Cathy, Chick-fil-A didn’t start out as the fast-food restaurant we all know today. It wasn’t chicken sandwiches and waffle fries. Back then, it was called the Dwarf Grill, which would become The Dwarf House. It wasn’t until 1964 that Cathy developed his first chicken sandwich, which led to the complete rebranding of his business. In 1967, The Dwarf House became Chick-fil-A. Chick-fil-A went on to become one of the biggest restaurant chains in the United States, and much of it was because it did things differently . Cathy was known for his entrepreneurialism as well as his religious beliefs. As a Southern Baptist, his devotion to God and his church informed much of Cathy’s approach to business. That’s exactly why Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays. Cathy maintained what he called a “five-step recipe for business success.” These were core values that he practiced in his business ventures and applied to great success. Many entrepreneurs continue to practice these steps and call Cathy someone to be emulated.
Another defining feature of Chick-fil-A is their customer service. In 2018, Chick-fil-A ranked
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