- Chick-fil-A Founder and Chairman S. Truett Cathy, who began his restaurant career more than 60 years ago with a single eatery, saw his company reach $4.6 billion in 2012.
- Chick-fil-A remains the second-largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the country and one of the nation's largest privately held restaurant chains.
How does Chick-fil-A do it? The company has added a modest number of new domestic units by industry standards, the menu does not stray from a limited, all-breast meat entrée strategy, and Chick-fil-A's marketing steers clear of discounting and limited-time offers. So what is their secret?
SECRETS TO SUCCESS
- Following the example set by founder S. Truett Cathy, Chick-fil-A has adhered to a few simple rules:
- Listen to the customer
- Focus on getting better before trying to get bigger
- Put emphasis on quality
- Customer Service: A quality that distinguishes Chick-fil-A from its fast-food competitors is its commitment to the customer. As a result, the chain has been honored with the following awards:
- Consumer Picks "Top Limited-Service Restaurants" Chicken Category (2012)
- QSR Magazine honors for "Best Drive-Thru in America" (2011)
- Zagat's Fast Food Survey's "Top Large Chain" (2011)
- Product quality: In surveys conducted by Marketing and Research Counselors, Inc., Chick-fil-A's core menu products, including the Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich, Chick-fil-A® Chicken Nuggets and Chick-fil-A® Chick-n-Strips, have consistently ranked number one in their respective categories.
- Franchisee relations: On average, fewer than 5 percent of Chick-fil-A Operators leave the chain in any given year, with most remaining with the company for more than 20 years.
- Employee relations: To encourage restaurant employees to realize their potential, Cathy established the Leadership Scholarship Program - $1,000 scholarships to qualifying employees to the school of their choice. Since 1973, more than $30 million in scholarships has been awarded. In 2012, Chick-fil-A will award $1.65 million in scholarships to restaurant team members.
- Philanthropies: Chick-fil-A's main philanthropy, the WinShape Foundation (created in 1984 by Cathy), consists of programs created to "shape winners" including WinShape Camps®, WinShape® College, WinShape RetreatSM, WinShape MarriageSM, WinShape WildernessSM, WinShape International and WinShape Homes®.
- Nutrition: Chick-fil-A can fit into almost any healthy diet through moderation and balanced menu choices. The Chick-fil-A menu offers 10 menu items with 10 or fewer grams of fat. Chick-fil-A cooks in 100 percent refined peanut oil which is naturally trans-fat and cholesterol free. In fact, the entire menu is free of trans fat.
- Sponsorships: The Chick-fil-A Bowl, Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge, Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game and Chick-fil-A Leadercast sponsorships have introduced new audiences to the brand.
- Brand Building: Since the chain's "Eat Mor Chikin®" Cow campaign began in 1995, chain-wide sales have increased six-fold. The chain has turned the theme into a fully integrated marketing program, which includes store point-of-purchase materials, promotions, radio and TV advertising, and clothing and merchandise sales.
- Market Presence: As of March 2013, Chick-fil-A has more than 1,700 restaurants in 39 states and Washington, D.C. and will open 85 stand-alone restaurants and 17 licensee locations in 2013.
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