FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO -- A Chick-fil-A restaurant recently opened in our city. Having never eaten at one before, I was looking forward to it from the first day we found out they were building one. With the parking lot jam packed, I chose the drive thru. It seemed like an eternity waiting in line, but that was to be expected on opening week. I tried the #1, which was the classic chicken sandwich, fries, and a drink. After receiving my food, I drove down the street away and began to unwrap my sandwich. It was bare! No lettuce, or tomatoes, or even mayo that you find at McDonald's, Wendy's, etc... Nothing but a piece of chicken between two buns with two sliced pickles. What the heck?
Surely, they must've handed me the wrong order. I pulled over and was going to go back, but my instinct told me to check their menu out online first. Sure enough! That's all that comes on the sandwich. Are you kidding me? A plain piece of chicken with nothing else to dress it up. And then... I took a bite. It hit me like a brick wall. I knew and understood within a nanosecond why no lettuce or dressing was necessary. The moist sultry texture and flavor didn't need any help. It stood alone on its own. It was single-handedly the best chicken sandwich I have EVER eaten in my entire life. It literally melted in my mouth. Whatever they're doing... keep it up!
WINTER SPRINGS, FLORIDA -- I have written numerous letters to companies in the past and every one was acknowledged with a response. On Sept. 27, 2010 I wrote 3 letters: to the manager at the Tuskawill Rd., Winter Springs, FL - S. Truett Cathy
(Founder, Chairman & CEO), and Dan Cathy (President & COO). For the first time in years my letters were completely ignored. Here is the letter:
This letter is being written to you specifically because you are widely recognized as a company that respects and adheres to Christian values. Chick-fil-A is also known for promoting family values and sponsoring worthy causes. However, in the case of my son, Chick-fil-A has been a huge disappointment as an employer.
** was hired at the Chick-fil-A at 1455 Tuskawilla Rd. in Winter Springs, Florida after over 6 months of searching. He had previously worked as a dishwasher for over 3 years at a local restaurant until it closed in December. ** turned 23 in June and had been in SLD classes (for learning disabilities) all of his school years until he was a Sophomore in high school when could no longer tolerate the level of mediocrity and lack of ambition among his SLD classmates. Although his counselors were apprehensive, Randy was switched to mainstream classes and graduated on time because he worked diligently and with commitment.
He had wanted to work for Chick-fil-A for months, so when he was hired at Chick-fil-A, he was ecstatic. He was proud to tell everyone where he worked and was obviously happy and his self-esteem blossomed. He came home after a meeting he had about 2 months after being hired and was extremely nervous and anxious that he could be let go if he could not be faster. He has always been a responsible and conscientious worker, so I assured him that if he is doing his absolute best while continuing to strive to improve, his efforts will be noticed and his work ethic recognized. Last Friday he was let go because he is not fast enough.
My question to management at Chick-fil-A is this: what holds more value to you - making sure you sell as much as possible for the greatest profit? Or sowing into the life of a human being who puts forth the best effort he is capable of? I am a single mother who has raised 3 fine young men. One of my older sons is a manager with AT&T and the other is an artist with Universal Studios. I am well aware of my youngest son's shortcomings, but I am also aware of his strengths and how hard he works.
The management at the Chick-fil-A where he was employed was also well aware of his character and excellent work ethic. It was apparent that ** was dependable, reliable, responsible, respectful, on time, and has an upstanding Christian character. He knows how difficult it has been for me to support us both, so he was so proud to be able to finally contribute to household expenses for the first time in months.
Now ** is depressed, his self-esteem is crushed and he feels rejected and dispensable. Is this how you illustrate and display Christian values? That when someone very obviously is doing the job to the very best of his ability, you reject him because in 3 months he is not fast enough? I have no choice but to conclude that like most businesses today, profit is of the utmost importance to Chick-fil-A as well.
Have you forgotten the story of the widow woman who gave her last penny as an offering? Was she rejected because what she had wasn't enough? NO – her contribution was valued even more because she gave everything she was able to give. But this Christian principle does not apply to ** – he gave everything he had and was rejected.
Can you even imagine how this has shaken his faith? He was so proud to be working for Chick-fil-A and felt God's hand was in the perfect timing of his being hired by a company known to have Christian values. As a mother, my heart aches for my son since his is breaking. What do you say to someone you love who has given his best and in return has received rejection? The message is that profits matter, people don't. Is that the message you want to broadcast?
If you are truly family-oriented and uphold Christian values you would look deeper into the character of those you want representing you. A work ethic like **'s is a rare gem – but you have cast it away as unworthy of consideration. Instead of sowing into the life of a God-fearing Christian young man and encouraging him to strive, persevere and become an employee you could be proud of, you have crushed his self-esteem and crushed his feelings of worth and usefulness.
Your website states: 'Yet, from the beginning, the top priority for Truett and Chick-fil-A has never been just to serve chicken. Part of our Corporate Purpose is to “have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” That's why we invest in scholarships for team members, character-building programs for children, foster homes and other community services.'
Yet you proudly put this message on the website that is a blatant lie when applied to **: 'Putting People First. At Chick-fil-A, we put people first. We credit our 42 consecutive years of sales growth directly to the outstanding leadership and hard work of our franchised Restaurant Operators and their teams.'
In addition, Proverbs 22:1 is quoted on the page for S. Truett Cathy. “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.” Are you upholding the principle in Proverbs 22:1? I am disappointed beyond anything words can say. You most certainly CANNOT claim that there has been any positive influence in my son's life or mine.
To add insult to injury, my son has been waiting over a month for his unemployment claim because they are still waiting for Chick-fil-A to respond so they can process his claim. All I can say is, "shame on you, Chick-fil-A for being profit-chasing hypocrites."
DENVER, COLORADO -- The Chic-fil-A (CFA) that I remember was mainly in shopping malls and served hot and tasty food back then.
The one that I went to in Downtown Denver yesterday was just awful. It is a serve-yourself type of deal in a food court. The sandwiches are pre-packaged in a box and along with the waffle fries, etc. - they are sitting out at room temperature! The chicken nuggets (about the size of a cocktail olive) had a little warmth but the spuds were like potato chips. The chicken sandwich that was already bagged up wasn't much better with TWO friggin' pickle slices and nothing else on it.
I mean seriously, I have had better meals than this in JAIL save for the free refills of lemonade! This place has really gone downhill over the years and I won't be patronizing them anytime soon to be sure. Thank goodness that I am pretty handy in the kitchen and don't have to eat this FF crap too often!! Buyer beware.
PLANO, TEXAS -- I went through the drive-through today to place my usual order. I was told to pull around as it would take a few minutes to prepare. 10 minutes passed so I phoned from my car to see if they had forgotten about our order. I had kids and a dog in the car so I didn't want to get out. They told me they had a problem with my order and would be right out.
Someone brought the wrong order out to my car and I asked to see a manager. The owner came to my vehicle and very aggressively put his hands on the roof of my car and leaned into the window and asked what the problem was. I told him and he started yelling at me that I always cause problems. (I have never seen him before or had problems in the many years of visiting this store.)
I told him I think he was confusing me with someone else and that my order was wrong and to please correct it. He still had his hands on my car and was leaning into my window. I told him to please take his hands off the car and to back up, that I felt he was being to aggressive. He then yelled back I was being aggressive. (I had my seat belt in, two kids in the car, and I'm a female...how am I being aggressive to a man standing over me yelling at me?) He had no right to treat me this way.
I told him I would never come back and he said you better not. I asked him to back up off my car and give me the food or a refund or I would call the police. He said he dared me to call the police. I had to phone the police to resolve the matter. I ended up getting a refund and was very badly treated and embarrassed.
Now my family and I can't return to the restaurant we once enjoyed and I'm afraid this man has some misplaced anger issues. This man looked like he wanted to jump in my car and hit me. What a family restaurant! Seriously this kind of behavior can not go on. If you have had a bad day or a bad experience with a customer, politely apologize and correct the order. There is no need to abuse customers in this way.
By the way, we visited this store at least once a week for 10 years and never had a problem before today. They lost a loyal customer. And they don't even care. They told me so...
LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY -- Two months ago I stopped having breakfast at the Chick-fil-A in the town I work. Since this store opened a year ago, I was a regular breakfast customer. I would always order the same thing for breakfast, a number 3 combo which is the breakfast burrito fries and a drink. The picture shows a coffee. I do drink coffee and sometimes I have a soda or pop with my breakfast instead of coffee. I always paid $3.91 for my morning treat which I would get two to three times a week regardless of if I got a coffee or a pop.
One morning I was told it would be $4.12 at the window, I didn't think much of it. I would go back again and it would be $3.91. I started to realize that the price increased if I got a pop instead of the coffee. The next time I was told $4.12, I asked to speak to the manager and she informed me that the change in price was due to the store raising prices. I asked well how come when I was here on Thursday of last week I paid $3.91, and asked when the price changed and she seemed to be caught off-guard and wasn't sure when the price changed.
I went back a few days later and got my usual number 3 combo, this time with a coffee just to see what would happen and sure enough, I was charged $3.91. I am not the only one being ripped off. I could hear the car in front of me ordering a different combo. I heard them tell him his total and figured what he order and added the tax to find he had also been charded more because he wanted a Coke.
I realize that it is only a few cents difference but they should decide on the price and notify the customer on the menu that a soft drink costs more. Since my incident, I refuse to have breakfast there anymore. I will go to McDonalds where they don't charge more for a soft drink in the morning.
TEXAS -- I get text messages from Chick-fil-A or someone doing blast for them on my cell phone, at least 1 a week and usually more. The phone number is displayed as 777-111 so texting back and telling them to remove my number is not an option, and in the messages there is no opt out option--so basically once they get your number, you are stuck with these texts. I am not a patron of Chick-fil-A and that is by choice. Every time I get one of these messages, it really does not inspire me to even want to go into one of there stores. I would really like them to just stop.
MIDWEST CITY, OKLAHOMA -- Allow me to introduce myself. I'm the founder of the Stew Loves Chick-Fil-A Society (SLCFAS). What made me form such an organization you might wonder? Sounds likes a compass that points to crazy you might think. Well let me tell ya something. Now we all know Chi-Fil-A makes great food. I don't know need to tell anybody that. What really impresses me about the Chick-fil-A in Midwest City, Oklahoma is the awesome service, professionalism and attitude always on display. All the people working there have that 'I like working here' look on their faces and it certainly shows in the service they provide.
Long lines at the drive-through are a given for this location. It's crazy the business they get. At first I was somewhat dismayed by the lines until I realized they could service a dozen cars in the same time that it takes McDonald's to do four cars. I'm not kidding. The drive-through line there is a train in constant motion. I've been behind five cars before and got my order in less than five minutes. Now that's impressive.
If you choose to dine inside, you're going to be well treated to a positive upbeat encounter of the best kind. The store is always immaculately clean. Your order will be taken and completed in a blink of an eye. Your order will be right the first time. Consistently GREAT every time. This Chick-fil-A sets the bar high. They get lots of business and they handle it well each and every time. It's a shame more places don't take the same pride in a job well done as does this Chick-Fil-A. What can I say other than simply great!
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- While this restaurant has excellent service, my last food purchase was inedible. Ordered chicken biscuit and biscuit soaked in yellow liquid (margarine?). Just called restaurant to be told they're "lightly buttered" biscuit. Asked for owners email to be told I could only comment through website (not possible with my only internet access my mobile). First manager could not understand my English (it is my first language), 2nd manager dismissed my claim and could not provide me with accessible owner contact info.
I have eaten at Chick-fil-A's since they began. This locally owned (shall I say "rogue") site periodically loses its vision due to misinterpretation by staff/cooks. They have recently corrected over-salted fries. Hopefully owner ** will address this problem while the nation's eye is on nutrition. Thanks.
CALIFORNIA -- Through a personal experience with a family member, I have learned that Chick-fil-A sells a title, not a franchise. The store "operator" owns nothing except the right to manage a store and take full responsibility for anything that goes wrong. Corporate does not really want to know what goes on at each store location (legal or illegal), they toss the responsibility for policy and procedure to the operator.
The operator has a minimal cash investment which allows him or her to call themselves the store operator. Audits are seldom done and operators can treat employees any way they want (and usually get away with it because they are young and intimidated). They may or may not follow state laws which sometimes supersede federal, but no one is checking.
Each state needs to get their governing agencies out to check up on the individual operators/stores because so far they are slipping under the regulatory radar and Corporate wants to play dumb to individual state violations. If you know someone employed there, tell them to keep really good personal records and that personal integrity is still worth more than the extra dollars in the operator's pocket.
NEW BERN, NORTH CAROLINA -- I am writing this to express my extreme dissatisfaction towards how Chick-fil-A conducts business. I had a friend who gave a suggestion on one of their managers and how they should be aware what type of image he is portraying (coming into a bar in his uniform, groping women, walking out on tabs, giving away coupons like candy to customers and as tips to the bartenders, driving drunk, threatening people, etc). He wrote this to merely get the man help and stated that in his letter.
Not only did the Chick-fil-A manager give the employee who was in trouble the e-mail that was sent…the man then took it to my friend's place of business and told his boss and in turn got my friend fired. The man was also showing the e-mail to everyone in the restaurant. When I heard this I could not believe that such a large corporation like Chick-fil-A would have such a lack of anonymity towards suggestions that come from the consumer specifically on way to improve their organization, especially when it contains sensitive information.
My friend now is out of a job by making an observation about one of their managers. To me this is bad business. I suggest to anyone making complaints to this company to watch what you say and make sure you stress that they keep confidential information in confidence!