Have you ever had an opportunity to experience service delivered in an excellent way? Most people come from all over the planet to the “Mouse House” and the land of Disney to experience the magic of service delivered in an excellent way. A master in the arena of making dreams come true for its visitors, Disney is the bearer of the gold standard in service. Happy employees generate an infectious environment that boils over with smiles, joy and good feelings. Disney has perfected serving with excellence in the theme parks area, but fast-food gentle giant Chick-fil-A has set the bar for serving its customers with excellence.
Chick-fil-A has been around for over 40 years serving up excellence and chicken sandwiches from it beginnings in Atlanta, Georgia‘s Greenbrier Mall. Founder and owner S. Truett Cathy has strong beliefs and work ethic that is instilled in the people who are employed by Chick-fil-A. Serving with excellence is not just a passing phrase it is apart of the business philosophy, that Truett Cathy has also passed along to his son Dan Cathy, the current President and Chief Operating Officer.
On a recent visit to Chick-fil-A, I walked into the doors about 15 minutes before closing. The cashier was hard at work mopping the floors in his area. When I approached the counter, Dixon gave me a big smile and said “Good evening mama, it is my pleasure to take your order.” I was pleasantly surprised and asked for a vanilla shake without whip cream or the cherry. Dixon, when over to his co-worker and asked if she would make the shake and she smiled at me and proceed to make one shake for me and another for the person in the drive-thur. There was a young lady standing counting money at one of the side registers, and she smiled and also greeted me. Once his co-worker finished making the shake, Dixon took it and passed it over the counter to me along with my cup of water.
I proceeded out to my car with shake and water in tow, I placed the shake on the roof of the car to open the door and the filled cup was spilling over. I decided to return to the restaurant and get another cup. When I opened the door I was greeted with a happy hello and a look of concerned. Dixon asked if I dropped the shake and I explained that it was spilling over and I needed a larger cup. Dixon gladly took the cup and said “it is my pleasure, to change out that cup.” The young lady who was counting money smiled and I asked if she was the manager, she said yes. I could see the youthfulness in her face and I joked that she needed a work permit. The young lady then offered “I have been working her since I was 15 years old and I am 19, soon to turn 20.” I chuckled and said that, “Chick-fil-A is a place where people stay forever.” I smiled and both Dixon and the young lady warmly offered me a good night. This was great to see that up until the doors closed the staff at Chick-fil-A were serving with excellence.
Today I visited the Orange Ave. Chick-fil-A and the staff really displayed excellence in service. There were two ladies working in the lobby carrying a tray filled with mints and items for clearing tables. Armed with smiles, Katherine and Cathy, buzzed around speaking to customers dining in the lobby, “would you like a refill on your drink? It is my pleasure”, “may I take and empty this tray for you, my pleasure”, “would you like some ice cream? A cone or cup.” These two retirees from BellSouth, loves being around and working with people.
Sitting and observing both Katherine and Cathy interact with visitors to Chick-fil-A, it made me smile and taught me a valuable lesson in serving with excellence. When you genuinely enjoy the work you do, it shows in how you provide for those who enter in your presence seeking service in excellence.
- Chick-Fil-A Leadercast: May 6, 2011 (andrewconard.com)
- Silent Testimony In Business (fyi5.wordpress.com)
- Count Down to Chick-fil-A Leadercast (learningisgrowing.wordpress.com)