The value of family is very important to me. I appreciate
people whose actions communicate a genuine care for families.
Have you ever participated in something first hand and watched your previous assumptions dissipate based on the reality of that experience?
Since I have known my wife, she has had such a strong affinity for the Chick-fil-A brand. During her high school and early college experiences, she worked part-time at a local Chick-fil-A restaurant and was privileged to experience something within the organization that I never experienced during my high school working days at a different fast-food chain.
As a result, I have playfully teased her about the numerous stops that she makes at the restaurant every week. I have jokingly suggested her ulterior motive was to subtly indebt us to the brand with hopes we would eventually become owners/operators. After all, I’ve teased, we already have been underwriting the payroll of at least one part-time employee every month since our local Chick-fil-A restaurant opened in our area.
On the surface, I simply assumed my wife’s love for Chick-fil-A was a simple expression of gratitude for the organization’s generous scholarship support during college.
I simply could not understand the true power of the brand on her…until a few days ago.
Chick-fil-A “A-Lister” Meeting in Atlanta, GA
As a Chick-fil-A-lister, a member of the newly created customer appreciation/advocacy team, my wife was invited to join other “a-listers” in Atlanta , GA in mid-August for a time of fun, festivities and fellowship. I knew the trip was very important to her, so I willingly offered to bypass another key event in order to join her. I had no idea my brief encounter with the company’s leadership members was going to connect so quickly with me.
The moment our driver turned the vehicle’s steering wheel and we headed along the Chick-fil-A drive, things began to change, literally. Atlanta’s concrete jungle behind us, we headed along the ¼ mile corporate drive into the beautiful, 80-acre forest toward the main office that is tucked inside the retreat-like setting.
Value of Family at Chick-fil-A
The next 36 hours were a whirlwind of food, fun, and fellowship with Chick-fil-A’s leadership & other “a-listers”.
Having the opportunity to personally speak with Dan Cathy, Chick-fil-A’s President & COO, I was impressed by the humility and faithful vision of this company’s leader “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.”
The Chick-fil-A team’s “2nd mile service” not only drives their team community to go the extra mile in the restaurants to ensure a positive experience, my wife reminded me of a Birmingham, AL-area store that went the extra mile to provide food to stranded motorists during a sudden ice storm in the earlier this year. Do you have other examples how your local Chick-fil-A has worked to touch people outside the restaurant walls as well?
Value of Family within the Corporate Office
Within the corporate walls, I was very impressed to overhear how this mission personally touches staff members’ families as the organization works to provide its employees:
- extended maternity & paternity absences
- free on-site nursery, daycare and preschool with opportunities for mothers & fathers to visit and to care for their children as needed during the day.
- time to be with their families on Sunday.
I am guessing this value of family must be one of the key reasons the organization has a 97% employee retention rate. A 97% employee retention rate is an amazing testimony to have!
Value of Family within the Corporate Leadership
One of the more powerful examples of the company’s purpose and vision came to my attention when I learned that Truett Cathy, Chick-fil-A’s 93-year old Founder, personally supports over 120 foster children. He and his wife fully fund 12 foster homes that care for 10-12 children who need a home.
You see, my wife and I are currently in the approval process to become foster parents. To hear of this founder’s powerful example of love, care, generosity and ministry to children and their families, the paradigm of my heart began to adjust.
The value of family is very important to me. I appreciate people and organizations, whose actions communicate a genuine care for individuals and their families.
For me, the Chick-fil-A-lister weekend provided an opportunity to finally catch a glimpse of what my sweet wife has known and loved about the organization all these years, the heart behind the brand.
image credit: Creative Commons via Mav (Wikimedia)