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A recent story in Business Insider says the average Chick-fil-A restaurant generates three times the revenue of the average KFC restaurant.

Both focus on selling chicken, but Chick-fil-A per restaurant sales in 2014 were $3.1 million, compared with $960,000 per KFC restaurant.

Actually, Chick-fil-A’s per restaurant sales are the highest in the entire fast food industry, beating second ranked Jason’s Deli ($2.7 million) and third ranked McDonald’s and Panera (tied at $2.5 million).

The numbers are even more amazing when you realize that Chick-fil-A restaurants are always closed on Sundays, while its fast food competitors are typically open seven days a week.

The franchise’s founder, Truett Cathy, whose belief in Jesus was at the core of all that he did, as well as the basis for the values of his business, made it part of the franchise agreement that restaurants could not be open on Sunday. He died in September 2014, but his family continues that faith-based tradition.   

So why does Chick-fil-A perform so much better than the competition despite its shorter work week?

According to the article’s author, Hayley Peterson, there are two reasons:

  • The quality of the food, “which gets high ratings from customers;” and,
  • Exceptional service.

“The chain consistently ranks first in restaurant customer service surveys,” says Peterson, adding: “Customers rave about the restaurants’ cleanliness, quick convenient service, and hardworking employees.”

Peterson says the difference in customer service can’t be explained by high wages. Chick-fil-A pays an average of $8.44 per hour, compared with an industrywide average of $7.98. There’s a difference, but it’s not huge.

“Chick-fil-A says its service is so consistent because it invests more than other companies in training its employees and helping them advance their careers – whether or not those careers are in fast food,” Peterson writes. “Franchisees are encouraged to ask their new hires what their career goals are and then help them to achieve those goals.”

Peterson talked with Kevin Moss, a Chick-fil-A manager of 20 years, who said helping employees achieve their career goals has included funding one employee’s marketing degree and paying for another to take photography classes.

Moss added that he also tries to support employees in times of need, So, for example, “when an employee’s family member is in the hospital, he will send food to the family and the hospital staff.”

He explains: “I’ve found people are more motivated and respond better when you care about them.”

Peterson notes that many Chick-fil-A franchisees offer additional training classes so employees can earn certificates in courses such as managing food and labor costs and managing conflict in restaurants. “The better we train, the longer people stay with us,” Moss says.

 

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