Customer Service Profile of Chick-fil-A

I saw a post about Chick-fil-A at CustomersAreAlways. There is a Chick-fil-A near me and I have to agree with Maria – their customer service is far better than their competitors’. In fact, I’d even classify it as pretty good when it comes to inexpensive restaurant customer service, much less fast food customer service. McDonald’s and Burger King almost always have terrible customer service, but Chick-fil-A is not like that.

Even more interesting is that the average transaction I’ve had at Chick-fil-A takes far less time than at McDonald’s, even though I’m ordering essentially the same things. I never hear managers yelling at employees at Chick-fila-A (they yell quite often at the McDonald’s I go to), the prices are roughly the same (from what I can tell), and best of all – the food and service is always consistent at the Chick-fil-A near me, as well as the other ones I have been to. This is very tough to achieve for any franchise.

Here is what Chick-fil-A seems to do right:

  • They hire right. Chick-fil-A’s employees are normally very friendly and seem intelligent. They seem to actually mean it when they say “Thank you” or “You’re welcome.” I have no idea if Chick-fil-A pays more than the average fast food employee or what, but they seem to find the right people. The managers seem equally dedicated and conscientious and are always quick to respond to and resolve problems.
  • They allow franchise owners to do individual improvements. The second article I linked to below talks about how one franchise owner creates some competition and encourages employees to try and make the process as fast as possible (while still preserving a pleasant customer service experience).
  • They aren’t lazy. A huge problem in the fast food industry seems to be that employees (regular employees, managers, franchise owners) are lazy. There can be 3 people standing behind the counter at McDonald’s and only 1 working the register (when there are a lot of people standing in line). This doesn’t seem to happen at Chick-fil-A.
  • They are involved with the community. When Chick-fil-A is about to open a new location, they try and find people who like the restaurant to promote it. Chick-fil-A also partners with local schools and they will donate a portion of sales where customers used the school’s special coupon to buy things. It’s a win-win-win (customer gets a discount, school gets money, Chick-fil-A gets customers and money).
  • Their management cares about customer service. See the article linked to below.

This is an interesting article about how Chick-fil-A’s management influences their customer service. This article talks about what Chick-fil-A does that makes a difference. On a somewhat related note, I also found this article today that contains 21 tips for retail customer service. The page has a great set of guidelines.

Note: The experiences I’ve mentioned at McDonald’s (and Chick-fil-A) are based off of my own personal experiences as well as what I have heard/read. They don’t necessarily represent service at all of the company’s locations (which is true for pretty much everything I write about – some people may be better than others, some people may be worse).

7 Responses to “Customer Service Profile of Chick-fil-A”

  1. Joe Rawlinson said:

    Sep 07, 06 at 3:47 pm

    I agree. Chick-fil-A does a stellar job at customer relations. I’ve written about their focus on kids which, in turn, nets repeat business. They also have a quality product that stands above the competition.

  2. liz said:

    Aug 03, 07 at 10:44 pm

    Hey, I was reading your article.. I just got hired last month at chick fil a.. I am not saying this to promote the place or anything like that. I am a very honest person, but yes Chick fil a is a wonderful place, our customers are def. number one!! And customer service is the number one thing to us. We always say “My pleasure” and we mean it. We are pretty happy, upbeat people. Thank you for your time, and goodnight guys!!

  3. Service Untitled said:

    Aug 04, 07 at 9:20 am


    Great! Glad to hear you are enjoying your job and fit in with their customer-centric culture.

  4. Service Untitled » A New Way of Doing Fast Food - customer service and customer service experience blog said:

    May 14, 08 at 11:04 pm

    […] The most important aspect of this example is that it is yet another illustration of how there is always room for improvement – even in processes that seem to be perfected, and at the very least, have been around for a long time. For more reading on Chick-fil-A, see this post. « Christoph Guttentag from Duke University   […]

  5. Service Untitled» Blog Archive » A Lesson from Chick-fil-A said:

    Nov 24, 08 at 11:28 pm

    […] said plenty of good things about Chick-fil-A in the past, which was why I was surprised when I had a negative experience with […]

  6. zxephin said:

    Jul 30, 10 at 11:03 pm

    Glad to hear you like Chick-Fil-A. Most customers do. But ive worked there for to long. After working at both McD’s and CFA… though they seem nice on the exterior, its often honestly the same behind closed doors. The food is good, and we strive to be kind and helpful… but dont take that to mean we are treated all that better. In some ways i earned more respect at McD’s than CFA.But the main problem is the Corporate office.

    They offer hardly any to no support for their Operators, Manager or Employees. They simply don’t care about you as long as you bring in the bucks.

  7. Cynthia lee said:

    Jan 03, 12 at 3:00 pm

    I enjoy going to chick-fil-A all the time because of the clean environment, front door greetings with a smile and quick service. Its expensive but you get what you pay for especially if its good. Its sad to hear that corporate don’t care about its management teams or employees just the big bucks.