Whether you love them or are still boycotting, there’s no denying Chick-fil-A has stellar customer service.
According to QSR Magazine’s annual drive-thru report, employees at Chick-fil-A were the most likely out of the 15 chains surveyed to say please, thank you, and smile at customers.
Only rising fast food star PDQ beat out Chick-fil-A for their employee’s “pleasant demeanor.”
The report found Chick-fil-A employees say “thank you” in 95.2 percent of their drive-thru encounters.
In comparison, KFC employees did so 84.9 percent of the time, while at McDonald’s thanks were given during 78.4 interactions, placing them 14th place out of 15 overall.
No word on if any of the other chains are forced to say, “my pleasure” after everything.
How does Chick-fil-a do it?
How does Chick-fil-A achieve such a high level of politeness? Well for one, Chick-fil-A invests more to train its employees than the other companies surveyed. They also have dedicated drive-thru teams made up of customer-compatible employees.
These employees are specifically focused on only drive-thru aspects, meaning they can focus wholly on this speedy interaction rather than switching between in-store cashiering and back.
Plus, during peak hours the chain sends out employees with tablets to take orders. This way even if the lines are backing up, orders are at least getting sent in quicker than if customers had to wait until the window.
Additionally, each Chick-fil-A franchisee can only open one location.
This provides more hands-on supervision and training of employees.
Happier customers, happier sales
As Business Insider notes, “Superior customer service drives higher sales per unit, contributing to the chain’s ability to generate greater revenue than chains such as KFC, Pizza Hut, and Domino’s with more than twice as many US locations.”
In 2015, Chick-fil-A generated more revenue per restaurant than any other fast-food chain in the country.
Its average sale per restaurant was $4 million.
For comparison, KFC locations sold one million per restaurant on average that same year.
Not without opposition
Yes, the company has had its share of problems. I certainly haven’t forgotten when now CEO Dan T. Cathy’s opposition to same-sex marriage and the WinShape Foundation’s donations to anti-gay hate groups were exposed in 2012.
Although as of 2014 the company stopped funding the worst of the offending groups, it still donates to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, who maintain a strong anti-gay stance despite their other positive core values.
Cathy said he regrets drawing his company into the political realm, and going forward will refrain from making openly bigoted statements, especially in relation to his business.
So that’s progress, I guess. I’m going with a don’t forget, kind of forgive, and remain skeptical position.
Every time I want to cash in on a gift card, I google “is it okay to eat at Chick-fil-A yet?” Honestly, I’m still not sure.
But they’re just so nice it’s difficult to talk myself out of going there when I know I’ll have a pleasant experience.
An employee once upgraded my coffee size and gave me a cookie for free when I was having a rough day. One of the guys at the drive-thru always calls me champ. And for the record, I am very visibly on the LGBTQ spectrum.
Discriminatory attitudes of higher-ups aren’t necessarily reflected in the day-to-day interactions of employees and customers. As the study shows, Chick-fil-A employees are hella polite.
So regardless of your personal stance on the company’s political beliefs, it’s hard to argue with good customer service. Clearly it’s working out for Chick-fil-A in spite of their past indiscretions.