The Real Chick-fil-A

San Antonio and Buffalo recently banned Chick-fil-A from operating in its airports, largely as a result of its position on sexuality and its anti-abortion stance. For years, Chick-fil-A has been rock steady on these stances, which has infuriated some who disagree. Many have protested the restaurants, resulting in some bans in liberal communities. Certainly, as Americans it is their right to protest, but is it fair?

There is another side to the story. Chick-fil-A is a Christian-based business that lives up to its values. During the most recent Super Bowl held in Atlanta, the Chick-fil-A concession stand in the stadium was closed. The reason for the closure is the corporate position of remaining closed on the Sabbath. The choice between profits or sticking to their beliefs was easy. While perhaps controversial in some of their beliefs, Chick-fil-A stands by them.

Perhaps you didn’t hear about the Chick-fil-A employee who leaped through a drive-thru window to save a choking child. The child was being strangled by his seat belt, and the employee, using a pen knife, freed him.

Or the story of a homeless man who went into a Chick-fil-A begging for a few scraps and instead received a full meal and prayers.

Or how in Maryland, a Chick-fil-A store manager went to the aid of a ninety-six-year-old veteran and fixed his flat tire.

Or the boy who was scheduled for brain tumor surgery the Monday after Easter and requested a meal from Chick-fil-A. Even though it was a Sunday when the restaurant was closed, the manager of the local franchise went to his store, prepared the meal, and delivered it to the courageous young boy.

Chick-fil-A practices what it preaches through inspiring and empowering their employees and sticking to its beliefs. Despite protests from a few, Chick-fil-A can be counted on to stick to its guns.

Chick-fil-A is one of America’s fastest-growing food chains and currently ranks third -- behind only MacDonald’s and Starbucks in total volume. There is a reason for its remarkable success. The stores are manned by happy and committed employees who are well trained, not only in the operations but in the right Christian attitudes. The ownership, in turn, always gives all credit for success to God and their employees.

In my own visits to Chick-fil-A, I am always amazed at the lines, whether in the drive-thru or in the store. They are long but orderly. The lines move quickly, and the employees are always smiling. Friendly people abound in Chick-fil-A’s restaurants. And, as a former businessperson, I am always impressed by the consistency of their operations from location to location.

Chick-fil-A is also very careful when deciding who to sell franchises to. Potential franchisers must work for Chick-fil-A for two years before a candidate is considered. Only when you have worked the lines and are familiar with operations will you be sold a franchise.

Perhaps ironically, the opposition against them only encourages loyal customers to visit more often. After each protest, sales skyrocket from the silent support of the many Christians who believe in the values that Chick-fil-A upholds.

In my new book, Your Faith Has Made You Well, I give examples of Christian people and businesses to admire. We should admire a company that sticks to their beliefs despite the protests against them. Certainly, there are things we will disagree with in any organization or person, and Chick-fil-A is no exception. Disagreements are opportunities for change, whether that change comes within ourselves or  in others. To only seek out those who agree with us, narrows our views in life and restricts our Christian values.

I love going to Chick-fil-A. The food is good, and I always smile. Any organization that hires the kind of people who will jump through windows to save children or give food to the poor will always get my business.

And many agree with me. Chick-fil-A isn’t successful because it says the right things, but because the character of its business is firmly in lockstep with its beliefs.

By the way, the FAA is now investigating why the two aforementioned cities refuse to allow Chick-fil-A in their airports.

Don’t visit them on Sunday, they will be closed.

Dr. Bruce L Hartman, Christian author and storyteller. A former Fortune 500 CFO who left the corporate world to engage in a ministry of “Connecting the Lessons of the Gospels to the Modern Life.”  His life mission is “Helping People Walk into a Brighter Future.” He is the author of Jesus & Co.  and Your Faith Has Made You Well Visit 

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