Chick-fil-A is my favorite restaurant brand.
I have built emotional bonds with the company and am brand loyal due in large part to the dining atmosphere, company’s values and ethics, and the excellent food. There is no other brand quite like Chick-fil-A – and in today’s politically charged climate, there may never be a brand like Chick-fil-A again.
I am loyal to Chick-fil-A. I have always had a good experience at any location I have visited. From the quality ingredients and consistently good tasting food, to the pleasant staff always willing to help, every experience has been a positive one. Even the other customers at Chick-fil-A seem to be nicer than other comparable restaurants. I have read about the history of Truett Cathy and how he founded the company, and I appreciate that he remained true to his deeply held beliefs and didn’t succumb to the pressures that might have otherwise tarnished his company’s purpose. The Truett family has been loyal to Chick-fil-A and its customer base and in turn I am brand loyal to them.
Part of the way Chick-fil-A has built that Brand Loyalty is via emotional bonds. Chick-fil-A means family. A concept that is enhanced by the fact that every store is closed on Sundays so its employees and patrons can spend time at home with their loved ones. Those emotional bonds are strengthened when you hear stories of Chick-fil-A operators helping out when motorists were stranded in a snowstorm, helping when travelers were stuck at an airport, or helping save an elderly couple caught in a flood.
One of the reasons I enjoy the restaurant is the atmosphere they have created. Stores are clean, bright, and have instrumental Christian music playing softly in the background. Most have indoor playgrounds which are not only enjoyable for the kids, but reinforce the message that Chick-fil-A is a family-friendly environment. They have comfortable chairs and booths, and often have a fresh flower on every table. The dining experience is enjoyable and carefully reinforces the brand image.
Business Ethics and Values.
Chick-fil-A is a privately held company, still majority owned by the Cathy family. The Cathy family and the Chick-fil-A corporate office don’t just talk about ethics, they model it every day. When asked about Business Ethics while speaking to University of Houston students in 2007, Dan Cathy stated the following:
“Some of the most ineffective things we have are published policies. If people don’t see you modeling ethical behavior day in and day out, they’re not going to believe you, no matter what you have written down. They’re going to know that it’s not real unless you model it for them.…
Business doesn’t exist for itself. It never has. It exists to benefit humanity. It has to provide jobs, it has to serve the public. It’s no secret that at Chick-Fil-A we adhere to biblical principles, things like honesty, integrity, fairness. Those are timeless principles. Now our challenge is how to remain current and still keep those values. How do we introduce new products, say, that are beneficial for the public? There’s always a dichotomy between new and old, between the founding principles and the need to stay current. Our challenge is to keep to those principles and not lose them in our zest to modernize.”
Chick-fil-A’s original chicken sandwich, with just a hint of dill pickle marinade, is delicious. The sandwich, like the brand, has an almost cult-like following. There are countless articles and videos online trying to replicate the great flavor that took Truett Cathy hundreds of attempts to perfect. While some of them may come close, nothing beats the original or the suite of other entrees, sides and deserts that complete the Chick-fil-A menu. The commitment to quality food is clear. As Truett Cathy said, “Food is essential to life, therefore make it good.”