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Pleasant drive-thru experience comin’ right up at this fan favorite

(BUSINESS NEWS) A recent report on fast food drive-thru politeness concludes that it truly is one restaurant’s pleasure to serve you.

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Drive-thru report

Whether you love them or are still boycotting, there’s no denying Chick-fil-A has stellar customer service.

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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.

My pleasure

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.

Politeness helps

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.

#Chick-fil-a

Lindsay is an editor for The American Genius with a Communication Studies degree and English minor from Southwestern University. Lindsay is interested in social interactions across and through various media, particularly television, and will gladly hyper-analyze cartoons and comics with anyone, cats included.

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Business News

Bose is closing their retail stores, but we haven’t heard the last of them

(BUSINESS NEWS) Over the last 30 years Bose has become so well understood by consumers that they don’t even need retail stores anymore. We hear them just fine.

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Over the next few months, Bose plans to close all of their retail stores in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia. The company made the announcement last week. With 119 stores closing, presumably hundreds of Bose employees will be laid off, but the company has not revealed exact numbers.

However, this shouldn’t be taken as a sign that the maker of audio equipment is struggling to stay afloat. Rather, the move marks a major change in how consumers purchase tech gear.

When the Framingham, Massachusetts-based company opened its first U.S. retail store in 1993, it was making home entertainment systems for watching DVDs and listening to CDs. According to Colette Burke, Bose’s vice president of global sales, these first brick-and-mortar locations “gave people a way to experience, test, and talk to us” about Bose products. “At the time, it was a radical idea,” she says, “but we focused on what our customers needed and where they needed it – and we’re doing the same thing now.”

When a lot of this equipment was new, consumers may have had more questions and a need to see the products in action before purchasing. Nowadays, we all know what noise-canceling headphones are; we all know what a Bluetooth speaker is. We’re happy to read about the details online before adding products to our virtual shopping cart. The ability for Bose to close its retail stores is probably also an indicator that Bose has earned strong brand recognition and a reputation as a reliable maker of audio equipment.

In other words, consumers are less and less inclined to need to check out equipment in person before they buy it. For those who do, Bose products can still be purchased at stores like Best Buy, Target, and Apple. But overall, Bose can’t ignore the fact that their products “are increasingly purchased through e-commerce,” such as on Amazon or directly from their website.

In a statement, Bose also said that it has become a “larger multi-national company, with a localized mix of channels tailored for the country or region.” While Bose is shutting down its retail stores in several continents, it will continue to operate stores in China, the United Arab Emirates, India, Southeast Asia, and South Korea.

Burke said the decision to close so many retail stores was “difficult” because it “impacts some of our amazing store teams who make us proud every day.” Bose is offering “outplacement assistance and severance to employees that are being laid off.”

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Business News

Finally the American workforce is now mostly women!

(BUSINESS NEWS) Women officially make up more than half the workforce, but that doesn’t mean total equality. So what does this tipping of the scale mean?

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Equality for women has finally been achieved: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women now make up more than half of the workforce! That’s it, that’s the article.

Kidding. Just because women are currently in the majority doesn’t mean all their problems are solved.

First, it’s worth noting that although women currently make up more than half of employees on payroll, that number is slight (50.04% to be exact). Not to mention, women are very likely to fall back in the minority once construction – a male dominated profession – picks back up in the spring.

Still, the number of women in the workforce has been growing over the last decade. While jobs in manufacturing – another male dominated field – are dwindling, jobs in education and healthcare are growing. When it comes to K-12 teaching, for example, women are more likely to fill teaching roles. Women also dominate in nursing.

Not to mention, women are earning more degrees than men!

That said, despite this progress, women as a whole are still getting paid less than men. Part of the reason lies in the types of careers that women end up in. Those female-dominated fields we mentioned earlier? They don’t typically pay well. Plus, there’s that pesky glass ceiling that still exists in some fields. Remember, there are more CEOs named John than female CEOs.

It’s also worth noting that the information collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics only covered people on a payroll. That means the growing number of freelancers aren’t being accounted for in the report. Freelancing has become a great way for individuals, often women, to stay home and care for their family while also earning money. It would be interesting to know how freelancers shift the balance, both in employment and income.

Finally, there’s the invisible labor that women often contribute to society. According to the UN, women account for 75% of all unpaid labor – which includes things like childcare, meal prep and cleaning. This is vital labor that is not accounted for by studies like that of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and sheds light into another reason why women might still have lower pay than men, on average.

So, yes, the fact that women make up over half the workforce is something to be celebrated! That said, we’ve still got work to do on the equality front.

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Business News

Interview escape plan 101: Because you definitely need one

(BUSINESS NEWS) A job interview should be a place to ask about qualifications but it seems more people are asked about their personal life. How do you escape this problem?

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interview from hell

“So, why did you move from Utah to Austin?” the interviewer asked over the phone.

The question felt a little out of place in the job interview, but I gave my standard answer about wanting a fresh scene. I’d just graduated college and was looking to break into the Austin market. But the interviewer wasn’t done.

“But why Austin?” he insisted, “There can’t be that many Mormons here.”

My stomach curled. This was a job interview – I’d expected to discuss my qualifications for the position and express my interest in the company. Instead, I began to answer more and more invasive questions about my personal life and religion. The whole ordeal left me very uncomfortable, but because I was young and desperate, I put up with it. In fact, I even went back for a second interview!

At the time, I thought I had to put up with that sort of treatment. Only recently have I realized that the interview was extremely unprofessional and it wasn’t something I should have felt obligated to endure.

And I’m not the only one with a bad interview story. Recently, Slate ran an article sharing others’ terrible experiences, which ranged from having their purse inspected to being trapped in a 45 minute presentation! No doubt, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mistreatment by potential employers.

So, why do we put up with it?

Well, sometimes people just don’t know better. Maybe, like I was, they’re young or inexperienced. In these cases, these sorts of situations seem like they could just be the norm. There’s also the obvious power dynamic: you might need a job, but the potential employers probably don’t need you.

While there might be times you have to grit your teeth and bear it, it’s also worth remembering that a bad interview scenario often means bad working conditions later on down the line. After all, if your employers don’t respect you during the interview stage, it’s likely the disrespect will continue when you’re hired.

Once you’ve identified an interview is bad news, though, how do you walk out? Politely. As tempting as it is to make a scene, you probably don’t want to go burning bridges. Instead, excuse yourself by thanking your interviewers, wishing them well and asserting that you have realized the business wouldn’t be a good fit.

Your time, as well as your comfort, are important! If your gut is telling you something is wrong, it probably is. It isn’t easy, but if a job interview is crossing the line, you’re well within your rights to leave. Better to cut your losses early.

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