“it’s my pleasure”

A couple of weeks ago we had the opportunity to have a couple of Operators from Chic-fil-A spend a half day training the Staff from all three Sun Valley Campuses on what they’re best at, customer service. When it comes to great customer service there are a few companies that consistently come to mind Southwest Airlines, Disney, Nordstrom’s, and of course Chic-fil-A. While I’ve always thought the Church should be hitting it out of the park on this one (after all it sounds an awful lot like Philippians 2), until we do I’m content to learn from the best. So here are some of my notes and thoughts from my time with the guys at Chic-fil-A.


  • Consistency in the Guest Experience is paramount. We have to have an experience at our restaurant that meets the expectations every time people come.
  • Service is a culture not a ministry
  • Operational Excellence = basic expectations that everyone has when they come to Chic-fil-A (clean environment, hot food, fast, correct order). What does operation excellence mean for the Church?
  • The most important person in the restaurant is the “breader” because that’s the person whose job touches everyone in the store.
  • There is always tension between the kitchen and the front counter
  • You never go back to a place where you’ve had a bad experience, and you tell everyone about that bad experience. If you have a good experience, you’ll go back and maybe tell a couple of people.
  • You develop trust with guests through meeting quality requirements all day every day. Deliver on your promise.
  • The product has to be good. Serve crave-able food.
  • Speed: Be surprisingly fast
  • Second mile service is all about enhancing and building on the foundation of operational excellence. Going beyond what is expected.
  • At a fast food restaurant you don’t expect: fresh flowers on the table, someone delivering your food to the table, coming to your table to top off your drink, clearing you table, someone walking you to your car with an umbrella, etc. What is it that people don’t expect at Church that we can leverage to exceed their expectations?
  • Everyone coming through the door has a story so serve from the heart and show honor, dignity, and respect.
  • Take initiative and anticipate needs.
  • Make connections and create fond memories
  • Go beyond the transaction of the moment with customers, enrich their lives
  • Be very selective on who you hire and then train them
  • Does your team know they can and should do something to make things right? If someone has a bad experience, how do you apologize and make it right?
  • Why is it that at other fast food restaurants when I make a special order, they get it wrong but at Chic-fil-A they get it right? Answer: “It’s the people.”

A big thank you to Joseph Morris and Philip Thomas from Chic-fil-A for investing in the Sun Valley Staff!

Posted in Leadership, Volunteers

2 Responses to ““it’s my pleasure””

  1. Jeremy January 21, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    What a timely article! I can’t believe no one else has commented. This gives me a great idea to have a couple of local sharp Chic-fil-A employees come do a Q&A with me for our Sunday night service.
    It’s a culture in which all Christ followers need to be immersed.

    Great post, thanks.

  2. Phil Michael February 10, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    Great article….. In my experience with customer service you have to put people before profits, . In the examples of customer service leading companies you mentioned above they all have this in common. It’s small details for the customer that are paying great returns….. It doesn’t hurt that Chic Fil A is a faith based company with high morales!
    Thanks for sharing,

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