I was flying home to Indianapolis, last month, for my daughter’s wedding when my flights got cancelled and I was stuck in Washington Reagan airport (DCA). I spent the night in Washington, and returned to the airport the next morning for my rescheduled flight. This flight got delayed another 3 hours so I walked to the other end of the airport to get lunch. They have a Chick-fil-a at DCA, so this was my chance to go to a good airport restaurant versus the standard very average one’s you generally find in airports.
When I approached the Chick-fil-a, there was a line of about 20-25 people waiting. I was not surprised because everywhere I go, the Chick-fil-a’s always have huge lines, no matter what time of day. While standing in line, I heard a passer-by saying to her friend that “Chick-fil-a’s intentionally create these long lines to make people think they are so popular!?!” I was surprised at how cynical this lady was and thought she obviously has some bias against Chick-fil-a, or she has never eaten at one of these restaurants, or possibly both scenarios.
I think this show’s the automatic bias against good or Christian things and influences that exists in our culture. Why these biases exist, against a God that only show’s love and care for His people, boggles my mind. Yet it exists and is quite prevalent in some isolated circles of our lives. But most people, an overwhelming majority, appreciate good and as much as the dark side does not want to admit it, Christianity continues to grow, in spite of all their attempts to make it look like it doesn’t.
So why is Chick-fil-a so popular. There are many reasons, mainly because they are just plain good at everything they do, and they put a Christian love and appreciation into their work and their customer interactions. And while none of the polls show this, I truly believe there is “THE” Christian factor in play here as many would prefer to support a Christian based business than a business that is not so aligned.
I don’t care where you go, but if there is a Chick-fil-a there, it will be busy and likely has a line a folks wanting food. I will say they are soooo good and efficient, that you can be 10th or 15th in line and get served faster than being 3rd or 4th in line at another competing restaurant. Chick-fil-a excels at nearly everything they do, and here are a few examples:
· Pleasant Dining Experience
Compared to its competition, Chick-fil-A keeps its restaurants extremely clean and well-stocked. Team members are always cleaning the tables and floors, stocking the ketchup, and even ensuring the bathroom is well-kept. Customers know they can go to a Chick-fil-A and expect a high-quality, clean dining experience—something that is even more important given the recent pandemic. In addition to its dine-in experience, the chain’s drive-thru is also incredibly efficient.
· Great Taste and Reliable Quality
Chick-fil-A is known for its exceptional chicken sandwich. After all, it is called Chick-fil-A, and the chicken lives up to its name. It also has a trademark Chick-fil-A sauce on its chicken sandwiches that cannot be found or replicated anywhere else. Some people go to Chick-fil-A for the sauce alone.
· They Care About Their Employees
Chick-fil-A has been rated as America’s most beloved fast-food restaurant for the past eight straight years. This is partially due to the healthy employee relationships and company culture harvested in the restaurant. Some franchises have been known to offer tuition reimbursement for their employees while encouraging them to pursue higher education or follow their career dreams. This positivity in the workplace directly translates to the high-quality customer service experience that the employees provide. There are lots of opportunities for employees to prove themselves and take on leadership positions that offer higher pay and more responsibilities.
· Low Price Point
One of the main things that draw customers to fast food is the low prices. Even in these inflationary times, especially with chicken prices, the famous Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich and combo are still very reasonably priced. This makes it possible for customers to feed themselves and their families for under $20-$30 for a whole meal—well within the financial constraints for someone even below the poverty line. This makes Chick-fil-A an attractive option for anyone looking to fill up on a good meal for a low price. Chick-fil-A is also working to add healthier options to its menu while maintaining that same low-price standard.
· Available Everywhere
One of the main reasons that Chick-fil-A is so popular is simply that it is available everywhere. Airports, mall food courts, shopping centers, you name it—there’s bound to be a Chick-fil-A nearby. There are more than 2,000 franchise locations in 47 states, with new ones opening every day.
· In-depth Training for Managers and Franchise Owners That Ensure Top Quality Operations
People hoping to open their own Chick-fil-A franchise beware—it is notoriously hard to get this gig. This is part of what makes the company so successful. It is not easy to get approved to become an operator” of a Chick-fil-A because they must pass a lengthy pre-approval process consisting of a background check, interviews, resume review, and more. In fact, the company receives about 20,000 franchise requests every year and only approves about 80.
· Progressive Attitudes Towards Nutrition and Animal Welfare
To match the progressiveness of the times, Chick-fil-A pledged to provide fresh chicken, prepared in-house, consisting of whole breast meat with no antibiotics, trans fats, fillers, or added hormones. It is hand-breaded at each location. Fresh produce for salads is delivered multiple times a week and all foods are prepared to order. The lemonade only consists of lemon juice, pure cane sugar, and water—no high-fructose corn syrup. It also lists the caloric information and nutrition facts right on the menu, so customers know what they are putting in their bodies before they even order it. The company prides itself on transparency.
· They Over-Deliver
One customer reported waiting in the drive-thru line for ten minutes. When he finally reached the customer service window, the Chick-fil-a employee was so apologetic for the wait time that he offered the customer a free meal. The customer service at Chick-fil-a is top-notch, and they abide by a “customer is always right” policy that keeps people coming back for more. Another customer reported asking for six sides of Ranch dressing and getting ten instead. It is this amazing customer service, that is so rarely seen at fast-food chains now, that makes Chick-fil-a truly stand out.
· Fantastic Rewards Program and Mobile App
Chick-fil-A One of the brand’s rewards program that has continuously been rated as one of the best. For every dollar spent at Chick-fil-A, customers earn ten points. These points can be used towards a future Chick-fil-A meal. Rewards are also available for customers’ birthdays, via bonus point challenges, and just because.
· Great Dessert Options as Well
Unlike other well-known fast-food chains (cough, cough, McDonald’s), the ice cream machine at Chick-fil-a is never “broken.” It consistently dispenses quality soft serve. They have expanded their dessert options over the years to include hand-spun milkshakes, Ice dream® cones, chocolate chunk cookies, frosted lemonade, fruit, and more. This makes Chick-fil-A a one-stop shop for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. The ability to go to a restaurant that almost always has a working ice cream machine cannot be underestimated.
I’m don’t think there is a better operating business in American than Chick-fil-a. Whether or not people go there because they are Christian based, to me is not as important as how they exemplify Christian values in everything they do. Being Christian based, is just a bonus knowing that our money is going to a business that loves, and pays tribute to, Jesus in everything they do.
God Bless Chick-fil-a…all their employees, and their many many loyal customers!!!