Ryan Simpson Marketing 476 Final Project Chick-Fil-A| GarnerR MK-476 FP Page #1 In this paper I will be giving a thorough analysis of the Chick-Fil-A company by discussing the history of the company as well as how the company was founded, the operations of the company, how the company gives back to the community, and how the company markets itself to the consumers. The reason I chose Chick-Fil-A to do my paper on is ever since I was a little boy Chick-Fil-A has always been my favorite fast food. I can remember when I was little the closest Chick-Fil-A to our home was the one on Cox Creek Parkway in front of the mall in Florence.
Anytime we were in Florence I would beg my parents to take me thru the drive thru because I loved the Chick-Fil-A kids meal as well as the toy that came with it. Chick-Fil-A restaurants have been appealing to me ever since I was little so since then I have been a loyal customer of Chick-Fil-A. I have also always been interested in knowing how Chick-Fil-A always has had a huge customer base and every time I went to eat at a Chick-Fil-A, it seemed to always be crowded so that tells me that their marketing department is definitely doing something right because their restaurants are doing great business.
In this paper I will be going over the history of the Chick- Fil-A company, how the company operates, how the company markets itself, and how close out the paper with a conclusion and summary. In the first part of my paper, I want to go over the history of the Chick-Fil-A company. The Chick-Fil-A company was first founded in 1946 by a man named Truett Cathy. Truett Cathy is considered to be one of the greatest entrepreneurs in the history of the United States. GarnerR MK-476 FP Page #2
Truett Cathy who grew up in Atlanta opened his first restaurant in his home town called the “Dwarf Grill”. However over time the name changed to the “Dwarf House” (www. chick-fil-a. com). In the year of 1964, Truett Cathy created his version of a chicken sandwich that is today referred to as the original chicken sandwich. Truett Cathy’s invention of the chicken sandwich was the first step to his vision of developing a successful restaurant chain. In 1967, Truett Cathy opened the first Chick-Fil-A restaurant in the Greenbrier Mall in |Atlanta, Georgia.
In 1973 years after the first Chick-Fil-A opened, Truett Cathy wanted all his employees, regardless of age, to have an advanced education so he decided to develop a Team Scholarship Program which included $1,000 scholarships. Chick-Fil-A took a big step in the right direction when they first introduced freshly squeezed lemonade on their menu in 1977. In 1982, all Chick-Fil-A started selling chicken nuggets in all their restaurants and because of this Chick-Fil-A became the first restaurant chain to offer chicken nuggets nationwide. 984 was a big year for the Chick-Fil-A Company because Truett Cathy established the WinShape Foundation to help “shape winners”. The reason Truett Cathy founded this foundation was simply because young people receiving a proper education was very important to him (www. chick-fil-a. com). Some milestones of the Chick-Fil-A Franchise; In 1985 all the Chick-Fil-A restaurants added their original waffle fries to their menus. In 1986 Chick-Fil-A expanded their operation by constructing the company’s first free-standing restaurant building on North Druid Hills Road in Atlanta. 987 saw the franchises offer their first kid’s meal package. Also in 1987 Chick-Fil-A expanded their operation by opening their first restaurants on GarnerR MK-476 FP Page #3 college campuses with Clemson University and Georgia Tech being chosen as their pilot campuses. In my opinion these colleges were chosen due to their proximity to the area of Atlanta from which the Chick-Fil-A franchise was originated. 1993 was a huge milestone for the Chick-Fil-A franchise, this was the year their 500th restaurant was opened and their first drive through only restaurant was created.
Also in this year their first hospital based restaurant was opened. Arguably one of the greatest marketing campaigns in the world was the “cows” which began in 1995 introducing their first billboard which consisted of their cows attempting to paint their catch phrase “eat mor chikin” (www. chick-fil-a. com). With this campaign the Chick-Fil-A Franchise was catapulted into the category with McDonald and Burger King as one of the most popular fast food chain restaurants in the United States. Also in 1995 the Chick-Fil-A Franchise hit the mark of one billion dollars in sales nationwide.
In 2001, Chick-Fil-A continued to expand their operation by opening their 1,000 restaurant. In the same year Chick-Fil-A continued to progress their popularity by being voted the “best drive thru in America” by QSR Magazine (www. chick-fil-a. com). In my opinion, this solidified their superior position in the fast food restaurant industry. Chick-Fil-A expanded their business in 2003 by opening their restaurants in Utah, Arizona and Southern California. By introducing their operation to the west Chick-Fil-A expanded their target market by not only marketing to the eastern United States, but to the GarnerR MK-476 FP Page #4 estern United States as well. This move made the Chick-Fil-A Company more popular nationwide In 2004 Chick-Fil-A expanded their menu even further by adding breakfast. By adding breakfast and opening earlier this also brought new business to Chick-Fil-A from business people on their way to work. In the same year Chick-Fil-A was voted “America’s best drive thru” for the third straight year (www. chick-fil-a. com). In my opinion Chick-Fil-A accomplished this prestigious honor by focusing on customer service and marketing their product.
Truett Cathy wanted to increase the Chick-Fil-A Foundation’s scholarship program so in 2005 the Chick-Fil-A Bowl was developed to provide more money for scholarships (www. chick-fil-a. com). The Chick-Fil-A Bowl is played in Atlanta, Georgia in the Georgia Dome (www. chick-fil-abowl. com). In 2005, Chick-Fil-A awarded their 20,000th Leadership Scholarship. By doing so, this showed Truett Cathy’s dedication and commitment to encouraging young people to go to college and further their education. Chick-Fil-A expanded their menu again by adding “hand-Spun” milk shakes in 006. Also in the same year Chick-Fil-A surpassed two billion dollars in sales nationwide and as a coincidence it happened in the same year that the Cathy family celebrated 60 years in the restaurant business (www. chick-fil-a/com). This information shows me how great of an entrepreneur Truett Cathy was that he could start up a restaurant and in just 60 years it has become one of the most popular fast food chain restaurants in the United States as well as grossed over two billion dollars worth of sales. GarnerR MK-476 FP Page #5
On December 1, 2010 I conducted a phone interview with Mike Albretson who is the operations manager at the Chick-Fil-A drive thru in Florence, Alabama on Cox Creek Boulevard in front of Regency Square Mall. In the phone interview with Mike Albretson I learned many things that I didn’t originally know about Chick-Fil-A. The first thing that I learned was according to Mr. Albretson the one major factor that plays a role in the Chick-Fil-A franchises success is their efforts to make emotional connections with all the customers that eat at their restaurants.
The main question I asked Mike Albretson is what three ways to do feel the Chick-Fil-A franchise markets their products to their customers and how they make their franchise appealing to the general public? Mr. Albretson’s response was the first way he believes they market their products to customers is by focusing on community and consumer relations. Mike Albretson also mentioned that one of the Chick-Fil-A franchises main goals is to do everything they can to provide a clean family atmosphere in all their restaurants.
The second way Mike Albretson believes the Chick-Fil-A franchise markets their products to the general public is by bringing the food to the people. I found this technique very interesting and what this means is Chick-Fil-A brings the foods to the people by simply taking sample treys with items from their menu or even foods that they haven’t put on their menu but are seriously considering it and taking them to public areas such as a park or anywhere that is a general public area and letting the people that come by ry free samples of their food and tell them what they think about it (Mike Albretson, operations manager). GarnerR MK-476 FP Page #6 I personally thought this is a great idea because you are advertising the Chick-Fil-A name out to the public, you are showing the community that Chick-Fil-A values and cares about their image, and also they can find out valuable information such as what the majority of the people like or prefer.
So in a way Chick-Fil-A is taking a survey on what the majority of the people like so that they can consider putting that item on their menu if it is not already on there. The third way Mike Albretson believes that the Chick-Fil-A franchise markets their products and service to the consumers is by the experience the customers receive when they come and eat in their restaurants. Mr.
Albretson stated that the ways Chick-Fil-A attempts to make the customers experience as pleasant as possible are by assisting people to their tables, by going around and asking if there is anything the customers need such as a refill on their drink or more ketchup. Mr. Albretson also stated that the Chick-Fil-A restaurants have employees help the customers clean their tables as well as throw their trash away (Mike Albretson, operations manager). In my opinion I believe these are excellent ways for Chick-Fil-A to set their selves apart from their competition such as McDonalds or Burger King.
I understand that most fast food restaurants are pretty much the same when it comes to the service and atmosphere of the restaurant but if you have assistants help the customers clean up and throw away their garbage that definitely would give them the advantage over their competitors in the service aspect of their restaurants. GarnerR MK-476 FP Page #7 I found a very interesting article that came from www. fastcompany. com, the article discussed how the Chick-Fil-A franchise was based customer centered.
An example the article shared that supported this statement was during the opening of the Chick-Fil-A restaurant that is located in Evansville, Indiana, Truett Cathy himself showed up at the opening to meet and greet all the people who had been camping out the night before the opening to be new restaurants first customers (www. fastcompany. com). This tells me how down to earth Mr. Cathy is that he would take the time to go to Evansville, Indiana to greet the customers on the opening day of one of his thousands of restaurants.
Another fascinating article I found about Truett Cathy came from www. michaelleestallard. com, in this article, Mr. Stallard talks about a speech that he heard Truett Cathy give at a conference and how much it moved him on how inspirational and selfless Mr. Cathy was. I thought it was very interesting that here is Truett Cathy a multi millionaire that could be anywhere in the world, but here he is spending over half his time traveling to different Chick-Fil-|A restaurants and meeting and talking with tons of his employees (www. michaelleestallard. com).
This example tells me how much Truett Cathy cares about his employees and about the service the Chick-Fil-A franchise brings to all their customers. One major advantage Chick-Fil-A has over most of their competition is most of their chicken sandwiches have a lot less calories and fat then most chicken sandwiches at fast food restaurants do. GarnerR MK-476 FP Page #8 According to www. livestrong. com, the original chicken sandwich at Chick-Fil-A only has 430 calories which is right about what McDonald’s chicken sandwich is, but what sets Chick-Fil-A apart from its competition is the chargrilled chicken sandwich.
The Chick-Fil-A chargrilled chicken sandwich only has 300 calories and also has 29 grams of protein in it which is a very nutritious meal for anybody. The McDonalds chicken sandwich has 420 calories in it so this tells me that Chick-Fil-A is the healthier choice (www. livestrong. com). While researching about Chick-Fil-A coupons, I found a hilarious story about Chick-Fil-A coming up with a very unusual, but effective marketing idea. It was called the “cow promo”. What this meant was during a certain time period nyone could dress up like a cow and go into any Chick-Fil-A and all they had to do was moo and stop their foot or “hoof” and get a free chicken sandwich and according to the article I read there were a few people who actually participated in this event (http://fastfoodcoupon. com). In conclusion, I learned so much about how a very successful business operates as well as several very effective marketing schemes and ideas. I personally thought the story about how Chick-Fil-A was started and how quick it became so popular and successful.
In researching this paper I also learned how great of a man Truett Cathy is and I read many examples that taught me how far good customer service can take you. Overall, I really enjoyed researching Chick-Fil-A and learning about the franchise. The summary of this paper was the history of Chick-Fil-A and how it was started by Truett Cathy. The second part of the paper was marketing strategies of the Chick-Fil-A GarnerR MK-476 FP Page #9 Franchise. The third was how Chick-Fil-A sets their selves apart from their competitors.
The last part of my paper was the conclusion and summary. GarnerR MK-476 FP Page #10 References Page 1. www. chick-fil-a. com 2. http://www. chick-fil-abowl. com 3. Interview with Chick-Fil-A operations manager Mike Albretson 4. http://wwwmichaelleestallard. com/chick-fil/as-competitive-edge-of-relationships 5. http://www. fastcompany. com/magazine/87/customer-chickfila. html 6. www. livestrong. com/thedailyplate/search/chick-fil-a 7. http://fastfoodcoupon. com/chick-fil-a-coupons. html