In the summer between my junior and senior years of high school, I applied for a part-time job at one of my favorite places to eat. This was the same Chick-fil-A where my friends and I basically grew up in the play park. I had heard the company was a good one to work with, so I went for it and I got the job!
I stayed at this location for two years, then eventually transferred to another store closer to my college a little over three years ago. This is where I was able to grow in my career with Chick-fil-A and now serve as a Team Leader.
Chick-fil-A's mission statement is, "To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A." The company keeps these goals in mind to provide a remarkable experience for the Guests and Team Members.
Chick-fil-A's goal is to create a remarkable experience for their guests. However, I've truly had a remarkable experience working for the company as well. Sure, a job in a quick service restaurant will always have its ups and downs, but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives at this company. Let's explore the reasons you should work at Chick-fil-A if you're looking for a job!
1. It can be a launching pad.
The best thing about Chick-fil-A is that the company will meet you where you are at that time. Do you have no job experience because you're still in high school and this is your first attempt in the workforce? That's fine, if you show potential and aptitude, they'll train you. Do you have years of experience at another restaurant or company? That's fine, if you show potential and aptitude, they'll use your current skills and train you in what you need to know.
Chick-fil-A also serves their Team Members with the Remarkable Futures scholarship. The company genuinely cares about getting their employees where they need to go. The nature of the job allows for flexible schedules for students, parents or other stages of life that require a non-traditional work schedule. I've heard stories of Operators (owners) providing bikes or bus passes for Team Members in need of transportation and I've seen the Operator of my store help Team Members when they or their family are in need of support. If Chick-fil-A is not your final destination as a career, the company is supportive of you as an individual and helps you succeed in your own goals. 2 It can be a landing strip.
2. It can be a landing strip.
If Chick-fil-A is a final or more long-term destination as a career for you, it is a great place to be. The company pays their full-time employees well with opportunities for raises and advancement fairly regularly, depending on the store and policy of course. My Chick-fil-A uses a Restaurant Professional program, offering a higher hourly wage to Team Members who are top performers and are available and need to work full time. Other Chick-fil-As have similar programs or offers.
There are also great opportunities in the corporate side of the company. The Support Center is a wonderful work environment (with free food every day!). They also offer a Leadership Development Program for those interested in becoming an Operator and Certified Training courses that will also help you grow within the company.
3. Team Members are held to a higher standard.
Chick-fil-A strives to provide a high quality experience to their Guests, in the areas of food and service. In fact, the company practices and trains Team Members in "Second Mile Service." This concept essentially means going above and beyond expectations—and that it truly is our pleasure. Therefore, the company must hire people with the potential to perform well in this higher standard. The co-workers I've worked alongside over the years have all had strong personalities and been a joy and interesting to get to know. I've learned a lot about good work ethic and effort from my co-workers.
4. The opportunity of a positive work environment.
Not every Chick-fil-A experience will be positive—I've heard stories. However, you'll have a higher chance of finding a positive work environment at Chick-fil-A than at other jobs. This is due to the high standards held by the company itself and the individuals chosen for the job. Even when everything is going wrong, the grill is down, we're holding on nuggets, someone threw up in the play park and a couple Team Members are out sick, at the end of the day, we're still able to look at the positives and pull the shift back together.
5. Customer service experience (that will help you be a better customer).
Everyone should work in a customer service focused job in order to learn how to act as a customer. In a job like Chick-fil-A, you'll learn quickly that you are much more willing to help a Guest with an issue if they approach the situation rationally and respectfully rather than angry and irrational. In training, you'll learn how to handle these situations using "L.A.S.T."—listen, apologize, solve and thank. This is a concept that you can take with you to use in future jobs and regular life.
6. Managers do more than just manage.
The managers, or Directors, at Chick-fil-A also act as mentors for the rest of the team. They are the epitome of servant leadership. This has become one of my favorite aspects of working with the company. I've learned so much from my Directors, and eventually, as a Team Leader, I've been able to pass this on to other Team Members that I've taken under my wing to mentor. I've seen some of these kids move on to other jobs or schools and others grow into great leaders within the company. A concept from some of the higher ups in the corporate side of the company is the goal help coach others to eventually grow into whatever position in the company or other career is best for them, even if that is something better than where you are by comparison or opinion.
7. Foster life-long, lasting relationships.
I met my best friend and my boyfriend at Chick-fil-A. I've also met countless other wonderful friends in this company. Again, I can't guarantee that your experience will be the same as mine, but you'll meet great people. You'll most likely share similar goals with these people or be able to bond at work over common struggles and fun times. These people will have the potential to turn into life-long friends.
Need I say more?
Okay, I'll say more. Break time is always great because you get either free or discounted Chick-fil-A (depending on the store's policy)! Once you know the inner workings of the menu—and no, there's no such thing as the secret menu—you'll know how to modify your order so that you'll never get sick of eating there.
I recently was given the opportunity to visit the Chick-fil-A Support Center in Atlanta, GA, with some of my co-workers. One of my biggest takeaways from the trip was the overwhelming gratitude each and every corporate employee showed toward us restaurant employees. Many different people we interacted with expressed their genuine appreciation for what we do and told us that they would not be there without us. That is why it is called the "Support Center" instead of "Corporate" or "Headquarters." The company's mission statement is definitely exemplified at the Support Center.
If you're a student looking for a part-time job or you're in another stage of life exploring your options, I'd suggest looking into Chick-fil-A. Not every store is the same, and not every experience will be like mine, but it's a remarkable place to be.