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In a time period when chicken was not on any fast food menus, Cathy offered an unique approach to doing business based on one simple concept, the concept of loyalty.Cathy took his first try at being a businessman in the world by selling Coca-Cola door-to-door. His business developed into a roadside business where he choose to serve cold Coke to salesmen. Soon Cathy had enough money to buy a bike. With his bike Cathy began selling newspapers throughout his neighborhood. Through selling and delivering newspapers Cathy realized what the key to success really is, to take care of the customer of course. Cathy built his business one person at a time. Slowly growing he soon learned it was easier to keep a customer than replace one. Cathy gave total dedication and focus to his customers. Cathy learned early on in life that happy and pleased customers are the best way of promoting and getting more business. Cathy uses the same methods in getting loyalty at Chick-fil-A. He says that every customer should be treated like the most important person in the world. Cathy says, “Courtesy is cheap to provide, and it pays great dividends.” Chick-fil-A employees are expected to do everything they can for a customer to ensure that the customer they are serving is happy, because what is better than a happy customer.
Chick-fil-A went through a financial crisis in 1982. Two big hamburger chains added chicken items to their menus; which was a problem because Chick-fil-A was the only fast food restaurant that had chicken on the menu. The huge increase in demand for chicken forced chicken suppliers to increase their prices to produce more chicken. That year Cathy chose not to take a salary because he didn’t want to raise the prices on the Chick-fil-A menu or to cut the salary of any employee at Chick-fil-A. That is the kind of loyalty Cathy showed to his employees. He wanted every single one of his employees to feel safe in or at their own job. Cathy carefully chooses all the employees and operators of Chick-fil-A. Cathy made the decision to keep Chick-fil-A private instead of a public business because he did not think the company could maintain the same dedication to people. Cathy believes in growing slowly at a pace the company can handle on its own.
Cathy has great devotion to God. Because of his beliefs, he has made God an important part of Chick-fil-A. Many of the opportunities the company has had over the years Cathy has considered blessing from God. In order for families to worship and be home with loved ones Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays. This has allowed him to start and fund charities he believes are important and will make a difference in the world. Most admirably Cathy hasn’t had to change his values or belief in God for Chick-fil-A.Chick-fil-A has had great success which is mostly because of Cathy’s success and organization. Chick-fil-A achieves higher sales than McDonald’s even though Chick-fil-A stays closed on Sundays. The business has grown to over $1.25 billion in sales, this is practically unheard of in the fast food business. Also many businesses can’t commit to the same promises as Chick-fil-A. For Cathy, that means a continuing cycle of new customers who will become loyal customers of Chick-fil-A.
Cathy’s approach to business was very different than others. It is a dream to have a company so dedicated to its customers as well as its employees. Chick-fil-A strives to do its very best to make every customer happy.
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