Practice What You Preach

April 19, 2009

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33

Chick-fil-A has grown to be the second largest chicken chain in America. Some would say it is because the food tastes great. Others would point to its clever advertising. (Let’s face it, there is something appealing about seeing a cow beg you to “Eat Mor Chikin.”) But, Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A, has a different view. He declares that the secret of his success is the company’s high quality of people and their attention to customer service.

How do they attract such people? Truett says it all goes back to Chick-fil-A being closed on Sundays. Now, closing a restaurant on Sunday is quite unusual in itself. But what makes it even more remarkable is that most of its restaurants are located in malls – and Sunday is one of the highest sales volume days in those malls.

Truett believes everyone should have a day off a week – for church, rest, or to enjoy family. If the business is open, you might get a call from the store with a question, or asked to replace someone who was sick, or just be worried about how the store is doing. But by being closed, workers are guaranteed that day off. Restaurant professionals appreciate that lifestyle and are attracted to the company. Accordingly, Chick-fil-A has attracted an outstanding team – many industry experts will say its people are the best in the food industry.

And what do the employees say? In an industry known for its high turnover (50% annual turnover for managers is not unusual), Chick-fil-A experiences a turnover of just 3%. Not one of the locations is open on Sunday, and never will be. “It was not hard to decide to close on Sunday,” said Truett Cathy. Dan Cathy, President and COO of the company, says, “Jesus Christ never died for a company, He died for individuals, personally.” The company wants to operate on Biblical principles and acknowledge the Lord in all ways.

Now, that’s what I call putting the Lord first, even in business!