Of the many unique characteristics that distinguish Chick-fil-A, Inc. from other quick-service restaurant companies, the most notable - and the most asked about - tradition is that of closing all of its 1,700-plus* restaurants on Sunday. Following is a brief explanation of how the "Closed-on-Sunday" policy started and why it will continue to remain in place.
Since Truett Cathy, founder and CEO of Chick-fil-A, opened his first restaurant in 1946, he has made his Closed-on-Sunday policy as much a part of the Chick-fil-A brand as the original Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich. While many question the chain's policy and how Chick-fil-A could forgo sales on one of the busiest days for food service, Cathy answers challengers by saying closing on Sunday is one of the best business decisions he has ever made.
Cathy's practice of closing his restaurants on Sunday is unique to the restaurant business and a testament to his faith in God. Within the first week of business at his Dwarf Grill restaurant in Hapeville, Ga. more than 60 years ago, Cathy knew that he would not deal with money on the "Lord's Day." Today, the Closed-on-Sunday policy is reflected in the company's Corporate Purpose:
To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us.
To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.
Cathy believes that being closed on Sunday says two important things to people: One, that there must be something special about the way Chick-fil-A people view their spiritual life and, two, that there must be something special about how Chick-fil-A feels about its people.
Cathy believes that by giving employees Sunday off as a day for family, worship, fellowship or rest, the company attracts quality people. And people, Cathy says, are the cornerstone of all that Chick-fil-A does as a chain. Chick-fil-A has the opportunity to attract individuals who want to be associated with an organization with a values-based vision, that is purpose-driven and that truly values a balance between work and family.
In today's business world, the Closed-on-Sunday policy may seem to be a costly business decision. But, as company sales figures have consistently proven, Chick-fil-A restaurants often generate more business per square foot in six days than many other quick-service restaurants produce in seven. Chick-fil-A generated more than $4.6 billion dollars in sales in 2012. Cathy credits "blessings from the Lord" for the great success the company has enjoyed, and he remains as committed as ever to maintaining the Closed-on-Sunday policy. "I feel it's the best business decision I ever made," says Cathy.
* Number of restaurants as of March 2013.
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