When Truett Cathy died in
September 2014, most people only knew him as the founder of
But he was more than an
entrepreneur. He was a trail blazer and Epic Achiever.
He had a framed poster of a
mountain climber to remind him to climb with care and
confidence. This model allowed him to slowly grow Chick fil-A
into a massive operation with almost 1,400 locations in 37
Not only did he grow his business
larger than over 99% of entrepreneurs ever will, but he did it
while taking very good care of his customers and employees.
This "loyalty effect" really
paid off. Chick fil-A employees actually enjoy their jobs and
are rewarded for remaining a part of the company. Fewer than 5%
of franchise owners or operators leave in any given year. The
industry average is 35%.
This loyalty extends to the
customers as well. Cathy made it a point to "never lose a
customer”, a model he used ever since he was a young boy working
delivery jobs. He discovered the best advertisement was word of
mouth, and reflected his "people first" mentality by living
behind the mission statement to "Be America's Best Quick Service
Restaurant at Winning and Keeping Customers."
If you’ve not eaten at Chick
fil-A, try it and you’ll be amazed at how good their food is.
It’s not even in the same category as most fast food.
Cathy was committed to put
principles and people ahead of profits, and he did. He provided
foster homes for more than 130 children, a marriage retreat
center, summer camps for children, and scholarships for
Most impressive is the fact that
Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays, one of the most lucrative days
of the week in many markets. They’re the only major fast food
chain to do this.
As a devote Christian, Cathy
believed in resting on the Sabbath and wanted his employees to
have Sundays off. He never took his company public out of
concern that a board of directors might force him to change this
Cathy's model made Chick-fil-A the
second largest chicken restaurant chain in the country, while
still focusing on employee treatment and customer service. He
was truly an Epic Achiever.
To Your Success,
P.S. If you’d like to learn more about this remarkable
man, pick up a copy of his books “Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People”;
“It's Better to Build Boys Than Mend Men”; or “How Did You Do
It, Truett? A Recipe for Success”.
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