Chick Fil A: A Leader In Quality Service

1949 words - 8 pages

Excellent ServiceMany companies in the service industry struggle to provide their customers with reliable good service experiences. This is because many factors contribute to each customer's perception of what exactly a good service experience is. Some of these factors include the store's décor, smell, cleanliness, location, employees' appearance and their demeanor. Management does not always consider these aspects of the service encounter as important factors in customer satisfaction. In the fast food industry, speed is the top priority, which produces high sales, but leads to inconsistent, impersonal, and careless interaction with customers. Because of this it is difficult to find a fast food restaurant that can consistently provide "good" service, and nearly impossible to find one that can prove its excellent service. However, this paper will describe how a unique fast food chain, Chick-fil-A, has earned much recognition and financial success by proving good service is equally as important as a good product.About Chick-fil-AChick-fil-A is credited with introducing the original chicken breast sandwich and pioneering in-mall fast food. Founder and Chairman S. Truett Cathy opened the first Chick-fil-A restaurant in Atlanta's Greenbriar Mall in 1967. His restaurants became increasingly popular, and today there are nearly 400 restaurants in shopping malls across America. During this time of growth, additional customer demand for convenience and accessibility caused Cathy to open several free-standing restaurants and soon expanded to college campuses, hospitals, drive-throughs, and he licensed multiple other outlets. Since the start in 1967, the company has posted 37 consecutive annual sales increases and has grown to reach $1.74 billion is sales in 2004. (Chick-Fil-A Company Website) Their growth is phenomenal, and unusual for a fast food chain that purposefully does not alter their menu choices, offer discounts or limited-time offers. There must be another factor that is special about Chick-fil-A that keeps their customers so happy and loyal.The Mystery RevealedThere are many aspects of the Chick-fil-A company that set it apart from its competitors in quality of service. The company achieves its high service goals by focusing on product quality, employee service, convenience, cleanliness, value, atmosphere, and reputation. Each of these aspects must be addressed uniquely, however all solutions must follow the three rules Cathy set for all Chick-fil-A restaurants according to the company website:- Listen to the Customer- Focus on getting better before trying to get bigger- Emphasis on quality---Employee ServiceThe first, and most important way to ensure customers receive excellent service is to hire excellent employees. In an article about Chick-fil-A's leadership style, Chuck Salter discusses how the company is notoriously choosy about its restaurant operators; they usually award franchises to just 5% of applicants, and the selection...

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