Monday, January 12, 2009

The Good: Chick Fil-A

I never realized how amazing Chick Fil-A is until I attended Entreleadership with Dave Ramsey last April. I began to learn what things to look for in great companies and traits that I want to emulate in my own.

Every time that I go to Chick Fil-A I am impressed by something else that I see. Several months ago, I went in during the crazy lunch hour. The lobby was full of people waiting to place their orders. I watched carefully to see how the managers would handle it. I saw an older lady who was cleaning a few tables in the lobby head through a door behind the registers with no prompting by the management. She appeared about 15 seconds later with a tray full of brownies. She walked into the crowded lobby and began handing the samples out to the waiting customers.

Over several following visits I began to notice the careful choice of words that EVERY employee follows. "How can I serve you today?" Not, "Can I take your order?", like all of the other fast-food restaurants, but "How can I serve you?" Also, after you thank any employee for prompt service, attention to detail, etc., you will always hear a "My pleasure" with eye contact and a smile.

Another impressive moment was when my company ordered food for our 1-year anniversary. Our office manager called in an order the day before and I was going to pick it up on Saturday before the celebration. I noticed when we picked up our order that the cheesecake was not included. I told the manager (who had already brought out the rest of my order) that I didn't receive my complete order. He looked at his order sheet, said that they didn't take that part of the order over the phone, then asked if I could wait about 10 minutes. They prepared a cheesecake tray and gave it to me -- no charge. I was more than willing to pay for the tray but he said that it was on them.

Most recently, I noticed a change in their drive thru on at the Man-O-War location. They now have LCD monitors on the drive thru that show you the person taking your order. It's kind of creepy at first but really provides a more personal feel to that service.

I am very impressed with Chick Fil-A and hope that my company can emulate those qualities of service and innovation.

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