By | Gene Marks | www.entrepreneur.com
The success of fast food chain Chick-fil-A never ceases to amaze me. Do you ever notice the lines? I certainly do. It seems like there’s always one at the drive-thru, right? I travel a lot, and whenever I go to the food court at the Philadelphia airport, there’s always a line for the place, even when most of the other stands offering good food don’t have lines. So what’s so great about Chick-fil-A?
Maybe it’s the nuggets. Or the sauces. Or the company’s “secret menu.” It may also be how difficult it is to actually own a Chick-fil-A franchise, which motivates those who are lucky enough to start one to make it as great as possible. All of those are good reasons. But there’s another, more interesting reason: It’s the company’s employee culture, which extends to its treatment of its customers.
Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays because it’s founder — a religious (and sometimes controversial) man — was committed to the Sabbath. The company also provides generous benefits (since 1973, Chick-fil-A has given more than $35 million in college scholarships to its employees) and is frequently listed as one of the best places to work in the fast-food industry.
Employees are also extremely respectful to their customers. In a 2016 study by research firm QSR, Chick-fil-A’s employees overwhelming said “please” and “thank you” at a higher rate than their competitors.
But one thing those employees don’t say: You’re welcome. Instead they say, “It’s my pleasure.” Why? Because it’s simply more polite, and it shows gratitude to the customer.