Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Company Highlight - Chick-fil-A: Keeping it Simple with Chicken and Great Service

Photo from Flickr by _rockinfree

If you are a frequenter of fast food establishments, you've probably noticed an increased presence and growing popularity for the franchise Chick-fil-A.  Chick-fil-A, a chicken focused chain, has not only become a popular chicken restaurant, they have become the best drive through in America. QSR Magazine's annual Drive-Thru Performance Study has consistently, year after year, recognized Chick-fil-A as the best of all drive-thru's as they continue to exemplify outstanding customer service and a great product.

While Chick-fil-A does its fair share of charity work to get involved in local communities, they also do a great job of sticking to what made them great in the first place. The simple idea, to focus on making your product better, is a recipe for success that any business can follow.  Their goal is to make great tasting food, primarily chicken and to consistently demonstrate and improve upon their exemplary customer service. In fact, each and every year the company spends millions on improving their service instead of dumping it all on expensive ad campaigns. This commitment to incremental improvements shows in the form of amazing service that gets talked about and word of mouth advertising (free) will always give you the highest return on investment.

Chick-fil-A sticks to what they do by limiting their products to what they are good at. You don't see them frequently and drastically expanding their menu and adding new products that have nothing to do with who they are. Their menu is simple and the underlying focus has always been and continues to be chicken. They even go so far to prove this point that their entire advertising campaign is based on three simple words that perfectly define them - eat more chicken. By choosing these words they fight the intelligent fight and stay away from a chicken chain war with KFC. While this slogan might in fact send potential customers to a major rival in KFC, the amount of customers to be gained from beef focused chains far exceeds any increase in sales that could be gained from customers that are already big fans of chicken. Coke and Pepsi could learn something from this strategy as the number of cola drinks that are consumed each year continues to dwindle yet these two giants have been attacking each other for years instead of competing against coffee, energy drinks, beer or any other non-cola beverage. Chick-fil-A, on the other hand, wins if people simply choose chicken over beef.

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