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.
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 dose not inspire me to even want to go into one of there stores. I would really like them to just stop.
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...
COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VIRGINIA -- I visited store number 373 on 10/27/06 and because of what I experienced, I do not plan to return. I asked the person that waited on me if I could have the next batch of waffle fries that came out and I told her that I didn't mind waiting for them. She told the people in the back that I wanted to wait for the next batch of waffle fries.
The team leader walked over to her and said something that was apparently displeasing because the team leader started shaking her head no. I heard the team leader say that she wasn't going to do it and then she went in the back to talk to the fry cooks. Less than a minute later, the person that was originally waiting on me, hesitantly gave me my order; her actions seemed to say that she was doing something that she didn't want to do.
Puzzled by the events that transpired, I asked her if the fries were fresh. She said that they hadn't been there that long, all the while she was very hesitant. I tasted them, and although they were very hot, they were soggy and greasy which is unlike Chick-fil-A fries. While all this is going on, another person in a different line had asked for fresh waffle fries, which he received. I know this because he was actually a friend of mine.
The person that originally served me kept watching me, as I tasted my fries. I asked my friend to taste his fries, which tasted different. Before I could say anything, the person who originally served me said that she would get me some fresh fries because she didn't want me to get sick.
It is my belief, although I didn't hear her say it, that the team leader on duty, told the fry cooks to reheat the fries that were already there. There was no reason for the team leader to go in the back and tell the fry cooks anything, especially since she was not the one taking my order. I know that my fries tasted extremely different then any other time I had visited a Chick-fil-A restaurant. It is my belief, based on the events that transpired, that something had been done to them.
I wasn't rude to the team leader or the person who waited on me. I do not put blame on the person that waited on me, because she was following the orders of her supervisor. Even after everything transpired, I did not become rude. I reasoned that I would take the matter up with the store owner. I do not believe that my request was unreasonable, especially since I said that I would wait for the fries.
I was extremely upset by the team leaders actions. I was appalled that she had the audacity to say that she wasn't going to honor my minor request. I was disgusted that she re-fried cooked food (my belief), which I am sure is a violation of the Virginia Health Code.
Just a week ago I filled in a comment card and said that Chick-fil-A had the best customer service ever!! I have never experienced customer service like this at Chick-fil-A. Although I am sure that this was an isolated occurrence, I will never eat at store number 373 as long she works there. Never!! I love their food and usually their customer service but I should never have been exposed to what I had been today. In my opinion, ** is not worthy of working in a Chick-fil-A store.
I spoke to the store owner on 11/06/06, and although he was somewhat apologetic, he could not fathom the idea that his employees would do something that deviated from his instructions in his absence. I told him that as a supervisor myself, I would hope that my employees followed my command in my absence, but it would be impossible for me to be 100% sure if I wasn't there.
The store owner said that since his employee said that nothing abnormal was done to my food, I had to have been mistaken. I know that Chick-fil-A is a religion-based store but that does not mean that all his employees are honest. The storeowner did say that he re-instructed the employees as to how to handle a situation when a customer asks for fresh fries.
`OWINGS MILLS, MARYLAND -- My family and I go to have breakfast or lunch here several times a week. We like the wonderful menu and prompt service we always get. Chick-fil-A is very lucky to have people like ** working and interacting with your customers while they are having their food. So please tell ** she brightens our day, she has our kudos. Thanks for having such a great bunch of employees who are so in tune with the customers.
FORNEY, TEXAS -- I want to go on the record and commend this particular Chick-fil-A for an excellent-run business. They are ALWAYS so polite, and the food is always fresh. We've been a number of times, and have NEVER been let down. It's a joy to go through the drive-through knowing anything that I ask for will be met with, "My pleasure". Makes you realize, there ARE some working teens out there who do respect others. Way to go guys.
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.