Chick-fil-A (CFA) is a quick service restaurant in the United States, which started off in 1946 with the opening of The Dwarf Grill in Hapeville by its founder, Truett Cathy. In the early 1960s, Mr. Truett Cathy founded the Chick-fil-A, Inc. followed by the establishment of CFA restaurants in different shopping malls across Atlanta. Currently, CFA is one of the largest fast food restaurants in the United States operating in 1,615 locations with annual sales of more than $4.1 billion as of 2011. Furthermore, the company has experienced 44 years of positive sales growth under the leadership of Truett S. Cathy as the founder, chairman, and CEO and Dan T. Cathy as the president and COO among other executive members including Donald M. Cathy, James McCabe, Steve Robinson, Perry Ragsdale, and Timothy Tassopoulos (Chick-fil-A [CFA], 2012).
CFA’s mission statement reads, “Be America’s Best Quick-Service Restaurant” (CFA, 2012). Besides, the company’s corporate culture is built upon different core values including excellence, integrity, loyalty, and generosity. With such a strong corporate culture, CFA screens and hires typical employees based on competence, character, chemistry or likability. Employees with these three important characteristics are charged with the responsibility of nurturing and advancing the company’s corporate culture (Reid, 2008). On the other hand, CFA does not have a clear-cut career path for its employees. However, career progression is based on different factors and experiences. As a result, potential leaders can move from one corporate category to another based on how well they perform in different challenging positions, which offer opportunities for advancement. Most importantly, leaders at CFA must be willing to serve others in order to succeed in their positions.
Ultimately, it is imperative to note that CFA’s corporate culture and leadership philosophy are built upon the principles of servant leadership and Christianity. This kind of leadership calls for service to others and a strong desire to give back to the community besides striving to make a difference. With servant leaders such as Mr. Dan Cathy and other executive members, CFA provides a nurturing environment whereby potential leaders and other employees in general have the opportunity for growth and development. As a result, the corporate leaders at CFA are very attentive to the needs of all stakeholders including partners, employees, and customers. Overall, servant leadership at CFA leads to a better service delivery, an excellent customer service, and an increased job performance and satisfaction on the part of employees.
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