Sun 17 Feb 2008
I was flipping through the channels the other day when I landed on a news station (CNN or MSNBC or CNBC, I don’t recall which) talking about Christian-based businesses. And low and behold, they began talking about the success of Chick-Fil-A.
Now, I’m not a huge fast food junkie, but the guys over at RemedyMD really enjoyed their weekly Chick-Fil-A excursions. I usually tagged along and I found the fare to be tolerable. What I didn’t know is that Chick-Fil-A is not like most other fast food joints. It’s privately held, profitable and enjoys a high employee retention rate (3% leave annually vs 50% in the industry.) It’s also closed on Sundays and the official company motto is to glorify God. Chick-Fil-A also runs Winshape, a non-profit foundation and there is voluntary Monday religious service at its headquarters. Chick-Fil-A’s founder, Truett Cathy even claims he received divine inspiration for the Chick-Fil-A’s signature chicken sandwich recipe. Seemingly more concerned about helping their fellow man get ahead than pure cash flows, Chick-Fil-A franchisee fees are comparably incredibly cheap– just 5k. (Wendy’s is 25k, McDonalds is 45k, Burger King is 50k.)
Knowing this information doesn’t make me like their chicken sandwiches any better, but it’s interesting to see a Christian run business thriving in a secular dog-eat-dog market environment.