The Next Generation
As an airline pilot, often times passengers will stick their heads up in the flight deck and say hello as I am preparing for a flight. Back in the year 2000, I was hired with AirTran Airways and began serving Atlanta, Georgia while maintaining residence with my family in Illinois. About once every month one of our passengers, an elderly man, introduced himself to me and said kind words of thanks and appreciation for being his pilot and would always give me a BE OUR GUEST card which could be redeemed for a free Chick-fil-A sandwich. Being from Illinois, I had no clue what Chick-fil-A was or if the business was any good at all. Finally I asked several co-workers who lived in the Atlanta area what this place was like. Each and every person had nothing but the highest praise for their business and friendly establishments. So I made sure to find out the identity of the elderly man who was giving me these free sandwich cards when he was out traveling for business.
To my shock and amazement it was the founder himself Truett Cathy! We had several conversations over those first few years when he would board my aircraft. I tried out his product and came to adopt Chick-fil-A as my favorite restaurant because it was simply the best and the food was always consistent and the restaurants were very friendly and had pleasurable employees. Well I haven't seen Mr. Cathy in several years but today I met his son Dan. I immediately recognized his photo after reading Eat More Chicken, a book describing how Chick-fil-A came about and the people within their company history. Dan's photo was in that book and he was making a visit to the Naperville, Illinois establishment which has recently set many new records of sales and service for the business. Additionally my wife and I met Mike Moore and got a tour of the operations within a Chick-fil-A. Though it has been many years since I first met Mr. Cathy, I was proud and happy to meet the next generation of the Cathy Family!